Georgia Lethal Injection Procedure Upheld

A US District Court in Georgia ruled Wednesday that the state’s lethal injection procedures were not unconstitutional. The court compared the execution methods to those of Kentucky and upheld by the US Supreme Court recently in Baze v. Rees. The court held that a higher risk of pain than that allowed in Kentucky was not associated with the Georgia protocol.

Jack Alderman, an inmate convicted of murder whose execution was stayed pending the US Supreme Court’s decision, argued that Georgia did not have in place the safeguards used in Kentucky, such as training of officials to perform the executions and confirmation by such officials that an inmate is unconscious prior to administering additional drugs. The state, however, contended that Georgia uses trained officials to carry out executions, experienced licensed nurses who monitor the consciousness of inmates and standby physicians.

Georgia may conduct the first execution since the Baze case of William Earl Lynd on May 6, 2008.