That's the title of Brett Barrouquere's AP report, via the Evansville Courier & Press.
Kentucky has moved one step closer to resuming executions — perhaps in the spring — by sending new rules for lethal injections to lawmakers. Once approved, the state will ask the judge who halted executions more than a year ago to lift his order.
The revised regulations specify that doses of the drug used in the one-drug execution — 3 grams of sodium thiopental or 5 grams of pentobarbital — be repeated if the inmate has not died within 10 minutes. In a two-drug execution, the warden may authorize continued injections of 60 milligrams of hydromorphone until the inmate dies if the initial injection is not deadly.
Also under the new rules, there will be no specific time limit on an inmate's last words. The warden at the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville has the option of shutting off an overhead microphone if the statement is deemed "intentionally offensive" to witnesses or excessive in length.
The Justice Cabinet made the changes after a public hearing in September over the proposed switch from using three drugs to carry out an execution to a one or two-drug method. State officials filed a "statement of consideration" with the Legislative Research Commission on Thursday.
The switch became necessary after Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd struck down Kentucky's three-drug method more than a year ago and ordered a one-drug process put into place before any more executions would be allowed.
In making the move, Kentucky joins at least seven other states that use one drug. It also would allow the state to avoid having to defend the three-drug method at a trial.
The Justice Cabinet made no changes to the bulk of the regulations, including how much of the process is visible to witnesses, when an attorney may last see a client before an execution and how and when a determination about the inmate's competency is determined.
The new regulations are at least the sixth different method of carrying out injections among the 33 states that execute inmates. States now use a variety of procedures, including a three-drug protocol with sodium thiopental, a three-drug method with pentobarbital and single drug executions with sodium thiopental or pentobarbital. Missouri recently switched to the sedative propofal. Kentucky's new plan makes a half-dozen ways executions may be carried out.
The regulations are similar to Ohio's and cover a variety of details about how an execution is carried out, ranging from when an inmate is moved from death row to the holding cells where the execution chamber is housed to who pronounces the inmate dead and how.
The article notes that Kentucky has conducted three post-Furman executions since 1977.
Related posts are in the lethal injection index.