Judge upholds lethal injection in Delaware

March 11, 2009 1:04:47 PM PDT
A federal judge has rejected a challenge by death row inmates to Delaware's use of lethal injection. District Judge Sue Robinson in Wilmington ruled Wednesday that the inmates had failed to demonstrate that the state's lethal injection protocol carries significant or intolerable risk of pain that might amount to cruel or unusual punishment.

Robinson heard arguments in January in a lawsuit that was filed in 2006, before the state changed its execution procedure to ensure that a condemned inmate is unconscious before he receives fatal and potentially painful doses of two paralytic drugs.

While granting summary judgment for the state, the judge ordered that a stay on executions remain in place pending a possible appeal of her ruling.

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