DEATH ROW INMATES LOSE COURT CHALLENGE OVER LETHAL INJECTION

Death Row inmates lose court challenge over lethal injection
Items compiled from Tribune news servicesPublished July 9, 2005

FRANKFORT, KENTUCKY -- A state judge on Friday upheld the use of lethal injection in Kentucky, saying it was not cruel and unusual punishment.
Judge Roger Crittenden said the method of execution should be changed to rule out one painful step. State officials say they plan to appeal that part of the ruling.
The case was brought by condemned prisoners Thomas Clyde Bowling and Ralph Baze, who argued that Kentucky's process of administering the lethal cocktail to Death Row inmates violated the state and U.S. constitutions, which prohibit cruel and unusual punishment.
Crittenden said the state should not be allowed to administer the fatal drugs through an intravenous catheter stuck into the prisoner's jugular vein, in the neck, if no suitable veins can be found in the arms or legs.
He said it was unconstitutionally cruel and should be removed from the process.