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Nevada stays lethal injection executions as US Supreme Court review looms

[JURIST] The Nevada Supreme Court Monday issued a stay of all executions [order, PDF; press release] pending a US Supreme Court ruling in a case challenging lethal injection as unconstitutional [Baze v. Rees (07-5439) docket; certiorari petition, PDF] under the Eighth Amendment. The order issued after oral arguments [recorded audio] arrived just hours before the scheduled execution of convicted murderer William Castillo, currently the only Nevada convict facing a warrant of execution. In recent weeks, similar stays have been granted in Arizona and Texas [JURIST reports]. AP has more.

The Georgia Supreme Court Tuesday denied [order, PDF; press release, PDF] convicted killed Jack Alderman's motion to stay his scheduled Friday execution. The order said that if the United States Supreme Court

stays the execution in this and similar cases in order to consider the issue raised herein, this Court will of course comply with that determination and will closely follow every directive from that Court.
Alderman's lawyers say they plan to file a state habeas corpus petition. Georgia, like Nevada and 35 other states, uses a controversial three-drug mixture [DPIC backgrounder] of an anesthetic, a muscle paralyzer and a substance to stop the heart. Several constitutional challenges [JURIST news archive] to lethal injection have arisen across the country, arguing that the first drug fails to make the inmate fully unconscious, thereby making the inmate suffer excruciating pain when the heart-stopping drug is injected. AP has more.

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