Delaware death penalty procedure gets court approval

    Delaware executions can now resume after a ruling from the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.

    The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court ruling in favor of Delaware’s new death penalty procedures.  The ruling clears the way for executions to be carried out once more.  The executions had been halted while the courts considered a challenge to Delaware’s death penalty protocols.

    Last March, Judge Sue Robinson ruled that Delaware’s death penalty did not cause unnecessary or unconstitutional suffering, but she kept the stay on executions in place while the inmates who brought the initial claim appealed.

    3rd Circuit Judge D. Michael Fisher wrote that court’s opinion.  He says, “We conclude that, under Baze, an execution protocol that does not present a substantial risk of serious harm passes constitutional muster and that, based on the record before us, Delaware’s protocol presents no such risk.”

    The lawsuit was filed before the state changed its execution procedures.  The new policy guarantees that an inmate is unconscious before receiving a deadly injection of drugs.

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