Monday, 26 February 2007

Federal Judge Postpones Maryland Lethal Injection Case

Federal Judge Postpones Maryland Lethal Injection Case

Annapolis - Monday February 26, 2007 1:14 pm

A federal judge says the state won't have to comply with a court request in the legal fight over execution procedures until the state legislature can consider pending death penalty legislation.

Maryland was previously directed to report to the court on the prospects of recruiting doctors to participate in executions. The reprieve granted last week will allow time for lawmakers to consider a proposed repeal of the death penalty statute and legislation exempting the lethal injection protocols from the requirements of Maryland Administrative Procedure Act.

Attorneys for death-row inmate Vernon Evans have argued that medical specialists should be members of lethal injection teams. The state has argued that executions are not medical procedures and that finding such specialists would be difficult.

Evans was sentenced to die for the murders of two Pikesville motel employees in 1983. His appeal to the Maryland Court of Appeals prompted a December ruling invalidating the state's execution protocol.

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