U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear challenge of Missouri’s execution protocol

04/07/2014 4:44 PM

04/07/2014 4:44 PM

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal filed on behalf of Missouri death-row inmates.

The inmates had asked the high court to review an 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that required them to suggest an alternative manner of execution in order to successfully challenge Missouri’s current procedure.

The inmates have filed suit in U.S. District Court, alleging that Missouri’s use of the drug pentobarbital obtained from a compounding pharmacy subjects them to the possibility of pain and suffering that would violate the Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

The inmates also are challenging Missouri’s argument that the identity of the pharmacy should remain secret.

On Monday, the Supreme Court also declined to take a case from Louisiana that raised a similar secrecy issue surrounding that state’s source of lethal-injection drugs.

Elizabeth Unger Carlyle, one of the attorneys representing the Missouri inmates, said Monday that despite the Supreme Court’s action, the legal challenge to the Missouri lethal-injection protocol will continue.

The case is scheduled for trial in September before U.S. District Judge Beth Phillips.

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