South Dakota executes first prisoner under new lethal injection protocols

South Dakota executes first prisoner under new lethal injection protocols

[JURIST] South Dakota held its first execution in 60 years Wednesday, putting to death 25-year-old Elijah Page [SD AGO backgrounder]. Page was executed under new lethal injection protocols [text] passed in February to ensure that prison wardens have the legal authority to use a three-drug combination instead of a two-drug mixture. South Dakota's 1984 state lethal injection law specified a particular two-drug combination, while the new legislation grants prison wardens the authority to use any drug mixture subject to the approval of the Secretary of Corrections.

Page, whose execution was halted [JURIST report] last August by Governor Mike Rounds [official website], voluntarily ended all appeals and asked to be put to death for his role in the 2000 murder of 19-year-old Chester Allen Poage. The three-drug "cocktail" used by many states to carry out lethal injections [JURIST news archive] has recently been the subject of numerous constitutional challenges [JURIST report] and increased scrutiny. AP has more.