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Judge Rules More Changes to Execution Protocol

By Kelley Weiss

Kansas City, MO – A federal judge has ruled that Missouri's protocol for lethal injections still fails to protect an inmate's constitutional rights. KCUR's Kelley Weiss reports.

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In June Judge Fernando Gaitan ordered the state to overhaul its execution protocol citing that the surgeon assisting in lethal injections was dyslexic and gave incorrect doses of the drugs used in executions, which could cause torturous pain to inmates while they are paralyzed. Yesterday's ruling marks the second time Gaitan has refused the state's revisions saying they still do not ensure an inmate's constitutional guarantee of not experiencing cruel and unusual punishment. Now the judge is asking that the state's protocol meet eight provisions, some of which they already met. He also changed his earlier order requiring the state to employ a board-certified anesthesiologist to carry out executions after the state could not find any anesthesiologists to agree to take the job. Instead, the state can hire a specially trained physician to oversee the process. The Department of Corrections has until the end of October to present a new protocol.

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