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Lethal Injections

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NEWS
February 16, 2000 | Associated Press
Given a choice, Florida's death row inmates would rather be executed by lethal injection than in the electric chair, the state Department of Corrections said Tuesday. Two-thirds of the 366 inmates on death row had until Monday to inform the Florida State Prison warden if they wanted to go to the electric chair rather than be injected with a fatal combination of drugs. None did, the state Department of Corrections said. The remaining third have appeals pending before the Florida Supreme Court.
ARTICLES BY DATE
OPINION
April 8, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
It's hard to get executions right. This week, the Supreme Court denied appeals by Louisiana and Missouri death row inmates who argued that they were entitled to know the source of the drugs with which they are to be executed, and that denial of that information compromises their right to due process. It's unclear why the court refused to hear the cases, but the underlying argument remains potent. Another challenge is underway in Oklahoma, where two inmates are seeking stays of execution because state officials have revised protocols on the fly as the lethal drugs they usually use have become more difficult to obtain.
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NATIONAL
September 22, 2007 | From the Associated Press
nashville -- A federal judge's ruling Wednesday that Tennessee's lethal injection procedure could cause excruciating pain is another blow to the three-drug cocktail used by every state that executes by lethal injection. Federal judges reached similar conclusions in Missouri and California last year, and now states have to decide whether to defend the three-drug method or find a new way to put inmates to death by injection.
OPINION
March 19, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
A month from now, if all goes according to plan in Oklahoma, two convicted murderers will be executed by lethal injection, and without knowing exactly how the killing cocktail was put together or by whom. Without that knowledge, they could well be denied their basic constitutional protection against cruel and unusual punishment. The death penalty, as we've written before, is an indefensible mess of immorality, gamed judicial processes, misapplication based on race and class, and public expense.
NATIONAL
August 8, 2006 | Henry Weinstein, Times Staff Writer
Death by lethal injection faces a significant challenge in federal court today in Oklahoma City, with doctors contending that the state's method creates an unnecessary risk that a condemned inmate will suffer excruciating pain, in violation of the constitutional prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. Nearly 30 years ago, Oklahoma became the first state to develop a procedure for lethal injection -- leading three dozen other states to develop similar methods.
NATIONAL
April 27, 2006 | David G. Savage, Times Staff Writer
The Supreme Court justices sounded split along conservative and liberal lines Wednesday during arguments on whether injections may be a cruel and painful method of execution. The justices are not likely to decide that ultimate question in the Florida case at hand, which focuses on a narrow issue. But the arguments offered insights into how the high court viewed the issue.
NEWS
January 15, 1996 | JACK CHEEVERS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
One minute past midnight on Jan. 26, an anonymous executioner at San Quentin is scheduled to inject massive overdoses of drugs into William Kirkpatrick Jr. as he lies strapped atop a table. The drugs first will anesthetize Kirkpatrick, then paralyze his muscles. Finally they will stop his heart, making the convicted killer of two Burbank fast-food workers the first prisoner in California to die by lethal injection.
SPORTS
February 27, 1990 | From Associated Press
A Kentucky dentist allegedly killed thoroughbred racehorses so owners could collect insurance money, the FBI said Monday. Dr. Joseph James Brown of Shelbyville, Ky., was arrested and charged with wire fraud Feb. 17 at Calder Race Course after an investigation by the FBI and the New York-based Thoroughbred Racing Protective Board. "Brown was arrested . . . by FBI agents as he was about to administer a lethal injection to a thoroughbred race horse," FBI spokesman Paul Miller said.
NEWS
December 7, 1985 | DAVID FREED, Times Staff Writer
Convicted killer Carroll Edward Cole, who insisted that prolonging his life would be a waste of tax dollars, died by lethal injection here early Friday, the first execution in the Far West since 1979. Cole, convicted of killing five women, fulfilled his death wish shortly after 2 a.m., when officials at Nevada's maximum-security prison sent powerful doses of three undisclosed drugs flowing though an intravenous needle in the condemned man's arm.
NATIONAL
January 8, 2008 | David G. Savage, Times Staff Writer
Supreme Court justices reacted skeptically Monday to the claim that the lethal injections used to carry out executions in the United States were flawed in practice and amounted to cruel and unusual punishment. Death penalty critics had hoped that the court would declare unconstitutional the use of a three-drug compound that has been the standard means of execution since the early 1980s.
NATIONAL
January 17, 2014 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
HOUSTON - An Ohio inmate's drawn-out execution this week led to an outcry about the increased use of new lethal injection drugs by the country's 32 death penalty states, a practice that experts predict will lead to more problems. Dennis McGuire took more than 15 minutes to die Thursday, appearing to gasp and snort, according to witnesses. His lethal injection was a combination of two drugs never tried before in a U.S. execution, according to experts at the Death Penalty Information Center in Washington, D.C. McGuire, 53, was sentenced to death for the 1989 rape and stabbing death of Joy Stewart, 22, who was seven months pregnant.
NATIONAL
November 11, 2013 | By Michael Muskal
Larry Flynt wants to stop Missouri from executing the man whose bullet put the publisher of Hustler magazine in a wheelchair for life. Over the weekend, Flynt and the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit to force the state to release documents on how the state determines the process by which it kills prisoners. Joseph Paul Franklin, 63, is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Nov. 20. Missouri last month delayed the execution of convicted murderer Allen Nicklasson after the German manufacturer of the drug propofol objected to its use in the deadly mixture of drugs designed to execute inmates.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 10, 2013 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO - California has dropped its legal efforts to win approval of a three-drug method of lethal injection and will instead propose  single-drug executions, a prisons spokesman said Wednesday. At the direction of Gov. Jerry Brown, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation decided against challenging a unanimous California appeals court ruling that blocked the three-drug method on the grounds it had not been properly vetted, said Jeffrey Callison, a corrections department spokesman.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 31, 2013 | By Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times
SAN FRANCISCO - California may be stymied for years to come in its efforts to resume executions as a result of a new court ruling, bureaucratic requirements and difficulty obtaining lethal injection drugs, advocates on both sides of the death penalty said Friday. Supporters of capital punishment urged Gov. Brown to challenge a state appeals court's unanimous decision against California's lethal injection protocol, even though an appeal could take years. They also called on the governor to introduce a new single-drug execution method for public vetting.
WORLD
April 8, 2013 | By Fabiola Gutierrez and Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times
SANTIAGO, Chile - Chilean authorities on Monday exhumed the body of Pablo Neruda to check claims by a former chauffeur that the Nobel Prize-winning poet may have been killed by government agents shortly after the 1973 overthrow of his friend, President Salvador Allende. Under a special tent and wearing protective clothing, a team of forensic pathologists that included a U.S. toxicologist gathered in the coastal resort town of Isla Negra to oversee the exhumation. Neruda died on Sept.
NATIONAL
July 18, 2012 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
HOUSTON -- Texas officials Wednesday were preparing for the state's first single-drug lethal injection after the U.S. Supreme Court  rejected the appeals of death row inmate Yokamon Hearn. The justices refused Hearn's appeals hours before he was scheduled to be executed for the 1998 murder of Frank Meziere, a stockbroker shot after a carjacking at a Dallas car wash. Hearn's execution, which could start any time after 6 p.m. Central time, will be the sixth in Texas this year -- for a total of  482 since the state began executing inmates by lethal injection in December 1982, a Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman told the Los Angeles Times.
NATIONAL
January 26, 2007 | Henry Weinstein, Times Staff Writer
A judge Thursday blocked two executions in North Carolina, creating a de facto moratorium on capital punishment in the state until it changes its lethal injection procedure. The ruling by Superior Court Judge Donald W. Stephens in Raleigh means that 11 states, including California, have now halted executions stemming from challenges to lethal injection.
SCIENCE
April 24, 2007 | Karen Kaplan, Times Staff Writer
Two of the three drugs used in lethal injection are not administered in a way that reliably produces painless death for inmates, leaving at least some to die of suffocation and be conscious enough to realize it, according to a new analysis of executions in California and North Carolina. Reviewing the cases of 41 inmates dating back to 1984, the researchers found that the dose of anesthesia given at the start of an execution varied widely and was often insufficient to keep an inmate unconscious.
NATIONAL
April 12, 2012 | By Dalina Castellanos
A man who admitted killing two women and four girls is scheduled to be executed Thursday after spending almost 29 years in a Florida prison. David Alan Gore on Thursday met with his mother and an ex-wife and is scheduled to be put to death at 6 p.m. EDT. Gore, now 58, had confessed to killing four teenage girls and two women in the 1980s in the eastern Florida town of Vero Beach, but was condemned to death for killing 17-year-old Lynn Elliott....
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 17, 2011 | By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times
A judge on Friday threw out California's new lethal injection protocols, which have been five years in the making, because corrections officials failed to consider a one-drug execution method now in practice in other death penalty states. In ruling that the new protocols were "invalid," Marin County Superior Court Judge Faye D'Opal noted that one of the state's own experts recommended the single injection method as being superior to the three-drug sequence approved last year. State officials now must decide whether to appeal D'Opal's ruling or again revise the lethal injection procedures that were deemed unconstitutional by a federal judge in 2006.
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