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‘Kentucky lethal injection protocol vague, experts say’

Kentucky_lethal_injection_protocolSome highlights from an article in the Jan. 25 Louisville Courier-Journal on problems with Kentucky’s lethal injection protocol:

  • “It’s very vague,” said death penalty expert Deborah Denno, a professor at the Fordham University School of Law. “There’s very little transparency.”
  • But it’s the lack of transparency about the insertion of the IV lines — the part of the execution process that has become problematic in other states — that has drawn the most attention from critics of Kentucky’s method.
  • Unlike other states, such as California, Kentucky keeps the condemned inmate hidden from witnesses behind closed curtains until the IV lines are inserted and he or she is strapped to a gurney. If something were to go wrong, there would be no independent way of knowing it…“Viewing that process is perhaps the most crucial aspect of determining if an execution has gone awry,” said public defender David Barron, who represents multiple Kentucky death row inmates. “Seemingly they do not want the public or anybody else to see what is actually taking place until they’re at the point where they believe there is no problem left.”

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