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Kentucky moves closer to executions

From the Louisville Courier-Journal‘s “Kentucky step closer to resuming executions“:

 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 specified 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.

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