Kentucky Supreme Court Ruling Could Delay Executions

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

A ruling by the Kentucky Supreme Court regarding lethal injection possibly could delay the execution of some death row inmates.

Death row inmates Ralph Baze, Thomas Bowling and Brian Keith Moore say the state should not be able to carry out executions by lethal injection until the protocol is spelled out in an administrative regulation.

A lower court agreed and ordered the Corrections Cabinet to publish the protocol, but later vacated the decision. So, Bowling, Baze and Moore appealed to the Supreme Court.

In a 4-3 decision, the high court agrees the protocol should be spelled out. But the dissenting justices say the decision just adds further delay to implementation of the death penalty, particularly against Baze and Bowling who lacked standing in the current appeal.

As Justice Bill Cunningham put it, “We are implanting another moving part into the already lumbering apparatus of our death penalty process.”