Federal Trial Begins Over Oklahoma’s Execution Protocol

Beverly Cantrell - February 28, 2022 7:13 am

Monday marks the beginning of the trial over Oklahoma’s controversial execution protocol.

After eight years of litigation and multiple problematic executions, a federal hearing to determine the constitutionality of Oklahoma’s lethal injection protocol has begun.

The lawsuit claims the state’s protocol violates the 8th Amendment, protecting against cruel and unusual punishment. A group of death row inmates will present evidence to prove two things. First, the controversial drug Midazolam creates an unacceptable risk of serious pain and undue suffering, and there are readily available alternative execution methods that will significantly reduce that risk.

Those are the two prongs of the test the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled a death row prisoner must satisfy to prove a challenged execution method violates the 8th Amendment.


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