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Missouri Lethal Injections Upheld

Posted Jun 5, 2007 12:09 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A federal appeals court has upheld Missouri’s lethal injection procedure.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals based in St. Louis said yesterday that the three-drug cocktail did not violate the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"We find no evidence to indicate that any of the last six inmates executed suffered any unnecessary pain that would rise to an Eighth Amendment violation," Judge David R. Hansen wrote for the three-judge panel.

The appeals court said personnel who administer the drug must be adequately trained, but the state was not required to use an anesthesiologist. "We know of no decision holding that the Constitution requires a physician to become the executioner," the court said.

The case was brought by death-row inmate Michael Taylor. His lawyer vowed to seek an en banc rehearing.

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