Wednesday, January 25, 2006

SOTUS Extends Stay in Pensacola Death Case

Late yesterday U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy issued a temporary stay of the execution of convicted killer Clarence Hill of Pensacola. Hours later, the Supreme Court extended the stay of execution and calendared the case for briefs in the Spring. The order (in pdf format) is here.

According to the Associated Press, Hill's attorney is arguing that Florida's method of capital punishment, lethal injection, is cruel and unusual.

For the moment, however, it appears that issue is not directly being addressed. Instead, the Supreme Court will consider only whether the lower Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals erred when it refused even to consider Hill's underlying claim that the particular mix of chemicals used in Florida to execute inmates -- sodium pentothal, pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride --creates "a foreseeable risk of the gratuitous and unnecessary infliction of pain."

It takes a minimum of four justices to agree to review cases from lower courts in the federal system.


Malott said...
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Malott said...

State Sen. Kyle Janek (Republican, Houston), an anesthesiologist, addressed the "cruel and unusual" question to my satisfaction. A normal surgical dose of sodium pentothal for a man weighing 220 pounds would be about 300 milligrams. Yet for lethal injection, the inmate receives 3 grams - or 10 times the normal amount based on body weight.

Justice Kennedy is wasting everyone's time. For liberals I guess precedents involving killing are sacred only when the victim is a baby.