Lethal Injection Challenges Delay Executions in Florida, Missouri, Georgia

By aholsinger

Legal challenges to new lethal injection procedures have delayed executions in Florida and Missouri this week. Similar challenges halted executions in Georgia in July. On Monday, the Florida Supreme Court ordered a hearing on the state’s new execution protocol and stayed the execution of Askari Abdullah Muhammad, who had been scheduled for execution on December 3. The hearing will examine “the efficacy of midazolam hydrochloride as an anesthetic in the amount prescribed by Florida’s protocol.” Florida is the first state to use midazolam in executions, and has carried out two executions using the new protocol. U.S. District Court Judge Nanette Laughrey issued a stay of execution for Missouri inmate Joseph Franklin on Tuesday, calling the state’s execution protocol, “a frustratingly moving target.” She also said that the Department of Corrections “has not provided any information about the certification, inspection history, infraction history, or other aspects of the compounding pharmacy or of the person compounding the drug.” The stay was lifted just hours later by a higher court, and Franklin was executed on November 20. Earlier this year, a Georgia Superior Court judge stayed the execution of Warren Hill and found unconstitutional the law that classified information on execution drugs as “confidential state secrets.”

(“Court lifts stay of execution of serial killer in Mo.,” Associated Press, November 20, 2013; B. Cotterell, “Florida death row inmate wins stay, hearing on new execution drug,” Reuters, November 18, 2013.) See Lethal injection.

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