"Change in execution method set to go into effect," is the AP report written by Brett Barrouquere. It's via the Lexington Herald-Leader.
At least three Death Row inmates could be nearing execution as Kentucky moves toward a new lethal injection method.
Execution requests for two of the condemned men were made to the governor's office in 2010, but a judge barred the state from carrying out any executions until it switched to something other than a three-drug lethal injection method.
The state has revamped its method and now must go before Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd to ask for the suspension to be lifted. Until then, the governor can't take any action toward carrying out a death sentence.
Requests have already been made to execute Robert Karl Foley, 56, convicted of six murders in Madison and Laurel counties, and Ralph S. Baze, 57, condemned for shooting and killing a sheriff and deputy in 1992.
Also, 51-year-old Benny Lee Hodge's appeals based on the trial record have run out in the August 1985 slaying of Tammy Acker, whose father was robbed of $1.9 million in Fleming-Neon in Eastern Kentucky.
Kentucky is implementing lethal injection by one or two drugs, depending upon their availability. The change, which takes effect Friday, brings Kentucky in line with at least seven states using the single-drug execution protocol.
Should Shepherd allow executions to go forward, the state can then begin reviewing cases and purchasing the necessary drugs. A public records request in January by The Associated Press showed that Kentucky had not yet purchased the drugs needed.
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. Kentucky previously used sodium thiopental, pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride.
Shepherd's ruling halting all lethal injections came as the state prepared to execute Gregory L. Wilson, 56, for the 1987 rape, kidnapping and murder of 36-year-old Debbie Pooley in Kenton County. Wilson has since won a hearing in state court on whether he is mentally disabled and ineligible for execution.
Public defender David Barron, who represents several Death Row inmates, said he plans to challenge the new method.
Kentucky has executed three men at the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976, the last one in November 2008.
The Huntington Herald-Dispatch reports, "Ky. officials: State ready to resume executions."
Kentucky is ready to resume executions because a new one- or two-drug lethal injection method that took effect Friday addresses concerns by inmates that the previously used three-drug mixture amounted to cruel and unusual punishment, prosecutors said.
In a notice filed in Franklin Circuit Court, the Kentucky Attorney General’s office told Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd that the method should cancel out any arguments made by the condemned inmates.
Prosecutors want a final ruling from Shepherd that would lift his order that stopped executions in Kentucky.
The revised regulations that went into effect Friday 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.
Earlier coverage of Kentucky lethal injection issues begins at the link. Additional coverage from Kentucky is available at the links. There is currently a de facto moratorium on executions in the state because of the lack of a lethal injection protocol.
Also, from Kentucky, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports, "Two-thirds of Kentuckians want to keep death penalty," by Jessie Halladay.
About two-thirds of Kentuckians support the death penalty as an option for murderers and do not want it replaced with a sentence of life in prison without parole, according to the latest Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll.
Two bills have been proposed in this year’s General Assembly — one in the Senate and one in the House — to abolish the death penalty.About 67 percent of the 609 registered voters surveyed said they support capital punishment in Kentucky, while 26 percent said they’d like to see it abolished. Another 7 percent of those polled said they were not sure about the issue.