Author Topic: Justices spar over death penalty  (Read 725 times)

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Offline Elderberry

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Justices spar over death penalty
« on: May 14, 2019, 12:51:45 am »
SCOTUSblog by Amy Howe 5/13/2019

Tensions over the death penalty resurfaced today at the Supreme Court. The justices declined to take up two petitions for review filed by death-row inmates in Alabama and Tennessee, in orders accompanied by opinions that were sometimes biting. The justices also took the unusual step of issuing new opinions relating to their decision in March to put the execution of a Texas inmate on hold.

In the early morning hours on April 12, the Supreme Court cleared the way for Alabama to execute Christopher Price, who was on death row for the brutal 1991 murder of Bill Lynn, a minister who had been putting together Christmas presents for his grandchildren. The lower courts had put Price’s execution on hold to give them more time to consider his claim that the state’s plan to execute him by lethal injection would violate the 8th Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Instead, Price contended, he should be executed using lethal nitrogen gas.

Justice Stephen Breyer dissented from the court’s order overturning the stay of execution, in a highly personal and often scathing opinion that criticized his colleagues for (among other things) not waiting to act until after the justices met for their private conference the next day.

Although the justices vacated the stay of execution, the state had already postponed Price’s execution because the death warrant expired at midnight on April 12. Today the justices denied review of Price’s petition for certiorari, and Justice Clarence Thomas took the opportunity to write a statement – joined by Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch – concurring in the denial.


Offline thackney

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Re: Justices spar over death penalty
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2019, 02:20:46 pm »
... lethal nitrogen gas...

I do not understand why this is not used.  There is no reaction of suffocating.  The suffocating reflex is from a build up of CO2, not a lack of oxygen.  The person simply looses consciousness without awareness it is starting.

It is one of the reasons confined space hazards in industrial facilities can be so dangerous.  There have been multiple cases of where multiple people die, because someone goes in to rescue someone else already down without realizing there is still a danger.
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