[JURIST] Several US states announced Wednesday that they would resume executions by lethal injection after the Supreme Court's decision upholding Kentucky's lethal injection protocol [JURIST report] earlier in the day. Virginia lifted its death penalty moratorium [press release] and Oklahoma's attorney general said he would seek to schedule executions for two death-row inmates [press release]. Arizona's attorney general said the decision clears the way for executions to resume in the state, but that the state would delay rescheduling [press release, PDF] a previously stayed execution [JURIST report] until the inmate in that case has an opportunity to file a brief addressing the Supreme Court's decision.
In September 2007, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Baze v. Rees [Duke Law case backgrounder; JURIST report], allowing it to consider whether the three-drug lethal injection cocktail [DPIC backgrounder] used in most states violates the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. This led to an effective moratorium [JURIST report] on the death penalty in the United States as many federal courts, state courts, and state governors put executions on hold pending the high court's ruling. AP has more.