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Judge Rules Calif Lethal Injection Law Unconstitutional December 16, 2006

Posted by notapundit in Judiciary, US News.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP)–A U.S. federal judge who imposed a moratorium on executions declared California’s lethal injection method unconstitutional Friday.

California’s “implementation of lethal injection is broken,” U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel in San Jose ruled. “But it can be fixed.”

The decision is the latest in a nationwide challenge to lethal injection as cruel and unusual punishment and came just after Florida Gov. Jeb Bush suspended all executions in that state after a botched execution this week.

Lethal injection is the preferred execution method in 37 U.S. states.

Last month, a federal judge declared Missouri’s injection method, which is similar to California’s, unconstitutional.

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld executions – by hanging, firing squad, electric chair and gas chamber – despite the pain they might cause, but has left unsettled the issue of whether the pain is unconstitutionally excessive.


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