Lethal Injection Ruling Will Spur Executions, Lawsuits

Pro-death states will waste no time; lawsuits likely in others
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2008 10:42 AM CDT
The Texas death chamber is shown May 19, 2000, in Huntsville, Texas.   (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
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(Newser) – Executions will resume in the United States, thanks to the Supreme Court’s ruling on lethal injection yesterday, but so will lawsuits, the New York Times reports. By condoning methods “substantially similar” to Kentucky’s, the court has invited more challenges. “We have left the states with nothing resembling a bright-line rule,” said Clarence Thomas. “Today’s decision is sure to engender more litigation.”

Kentucky has provided little information about its procedure, so it’ll be tough to determine what’s “substantially similar” to it. Opponents can also attempt to prove that there is a risk of severe pain, compared with alternative methods. “We will end up largely where we were before,” said one law professor. Expect death penalty-friendly states like Texas to resume executions soon.