Friday, December 6, 2013

Judge Declines to Lift Kentucky Execution Ban

A circuit court judge who halted lethal injections in 2010 has declined to lift that injunction, ruling Thursday that a lawsuit brought by death row inmates over Kentucky's execution procedures has some unresolved issues.

In the order, Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd denied a motion by state corrections officials to lift the injunction that halted executions. Shepherd ruled the inmates could amend their original 2006 legal action to challenge state regulations relating to an inmate's access to an attorney, public viewing of executions and execution of the mentally ill.

Shepherd halted executions in 2010 as the state prepared to lethally inject Gregory L. Wilson for a 1987 murder in Kenton County.

Earlier this year, Kentucky revised its regulations to allow for the use of one- and two-drug cocktails during executions, depending on the availability of the drugs.