"Wellons files federal appeal to delay execution for more drug research," is by Rhonda Cook for the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Court of Appeals to stop his execution scheduled for tonight to give him time to gather “relevant information” to evaluate the quality of the compounded sedative that is to be used to put him to death.
In a filing with the federal appeals court Tuesday, Wellons’ attorneys said the only way to be sure that the compounded pentobarbitol made specifically for Wellons is safe is to know who made it and their credentials. Otherwise, the appeal said, Wellons is at risk of a painful death.
“The Eighth Amendment protects Mr. Wellons from cruel and unusual punishment,” the appeal said. “But it is a hollow right unless it can be enforced prospectively.”
The emergency appeal to the Eleventh Circuit can be accessed at the link. The appeal states:
“The Eighth Amendment protects Mr. Wellons from cruel and unusual punishment. That is uncontroversial. But it is a hollow right unless it can be enforced prospectively. Few would contest that Clayton Lockett’s Eighth Amendment rights were violated by Oklahoma’s botched execution, but there is certainly no redress available to him now. If Mr. Wellons can be deprived of the information necessary to determine whether Appellees’ method of execution presents “a substantial risk of significant harm,” Baze, then his Eighth Amendment rights have been nullified. The same is true of his First Amendment rights, if Appellees are allowed to conceal from him – and the public, and this Court – how they will carry out the gravest duty entrusted to them…
‘…Accordingly, Appellees’ actions to shield these critical aspects of how they intend to carry out judicial executions harms not only Mr. Wellons. It deprives the Appellees themselves of the feedback that could help them avoid a botched execution – an opportunity that those who executed Clayton Lockett would no doubt welcome, in retrospect. More critically, it attempts to prevent this Court from fulfilling its central mandate: to protect the Constitution. Further, it places the courts in the position of deciding issues about which Appellees have intentionally kept them uninformed.”
Earlier coverage from Georgia begins at the link.