Hearings To Begin in Lethal Injection Case
An anesthesiologist who was recruited to oversee the lethal injection of a prison inmate in February said six hours prior to the scheduled execution he could not participate after he learned that he would be responsible for determining when the inmate was unconscious, according to a joint statement issued Tuesday, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The statement of facts surrounding the scheduled execution was filed by the state attorney general's office and lawyers for the inmate.
Hearings will begin Sept. 26 in federal court to determine whether lethal injection violates the Eighth Amendment by causing inmates extreme pain. The case will focus on the qualifications of execution teams and the conditions under which they work, the Bee reports (Cooper, Sacramento Bee, 9/6).
U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel in February ruled that the scheduled execution could have proceeded if an anesthesiologist was present to determine whether the inmate is sufficiently unconscious. However, doctors refused to participate citing ethical concerns (California Healthline, 4/13).
The attorney general has objected to requiring testimony from the two anesthesiologists who were to participate in the execution (Sacramento Bee, 9/6).