Tuesday, 15 July 2008

4 death row inmates file suit to stop lethal injections in Miss.

4 death row inmates file suit to stop lethal injections in Miss.

Holbrook Mohr • The Associated Press • July 15, 2008


death row inmate Dale Leo Bishop, scheduled to die July 23, is back in the hands of a federal judge.

Bishop is one of four condemned prisoners who filed a 2007 lawsuit to stop executions in Mississippi. They say the state's method of lethal injection is unconstitutional because it might cause pain.

In a motion filed Monday and labeled "urgent and necessitous," the four inmates' attorneys accused state officials of withholding information about the way executions are carried out. The Mississippi Department of Corrections and the attorney general's office have "historically refused to produce" information about the procedures, according to the motion.

"This court can have no assurance that it has the complete facts on how Mississippi executes prisoners," the inmates claim.

MDOC officials and the attorney general's office declined comment on Monday. However, Attorney General Jim Hood argued last week that the inmates' claims fall outside the statute of limitations and that Mississippi's procedure is constitutional.

U.S. District Judge W. Allen Pepper did not immediately rule on the matter.

Bishop would be the second prisoner put to death in Mississippi since April, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that lethal injection is an acceptable method of execution.

The inmates in the lawsuit are Alan Dale Walker, Paul Everett Woodward, Gerald James Holland and Bishop.

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