Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Lethal Injections Examined by Supreme Court

A rare ray of light from the US:

The use of a cocktail of drugs to execute prisoners came under examination by the US supreme court yesterday, in a case that could determine the future of the practice.

Executions by lethal injection have been on hold since September in the three dozen states that use the method, pending the hearing in a case that challenges the state of Kentucky's use of a three-drug cocktail which is supposed to knock out, paralyse and then kill.

The legal challenge, brought by two college students, argues that the method is inhumane and that life in prison is an appropriate alternative. "You have the right to die with dignity," said Gira Joshi, one of the two students.

Five prominent veterinarians have testified that the method used in Kentucky does not meet the state's minimum standards for putting down animals.

Below the standards applied to animals. How long before the barbaric death penalty is abolished once and for all. Until it is, the US will remain isolated from the civilised world.