Delays In Executions Could Boost Movement To Get Rid Of Death Penalty

Saturday, October 20th 2007, 1:50 pm
By: News On 6

UNDATED (AP) -- A nationwide slowdown in executions offers the first opportunity in more than 20 years to test whether their absence will lead some states to abandon the death penalty.

Recent decisions by judges and elected officials have made clear that most executions will not proceed until the Supreme Court rules in a challenge by two death row inmates to the lethal injection procedures used by Kentucky.

The inmates say Kentucky's method creates the risk of pain severe enough to be cruel and unusual punishment, banned by the Eighth Amendment.

Similar procedures are used by Texas, the far-and-away leader in lethal injections, Oklahoma and the 15 other states that have executed prisoners in the past two years.