Office of the Attorney General
U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Upholds "Competence and Professionalism" of Execution Protocol
Today’s 7-2 U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding Kentucky’s use of lethal injection is a sweeping vindication of the commonwealth’s execution procedures against constitutional attack, according to Justice and Public Safety Secretary J. Michael Brown.
“This decision upholds the competence and professionalism of our execution protocol, and of the personnel who carry out that protocol,” Brown said.
The ruling indicated that safeguards built into the state’s execution protocol eliminate the risk of harm or pain to a condemned inmate.
“In light of the safeguards Kentucky’s protocol puts in place, the risks of administering an adequate sodium thiopental dose … are not so substantial or imminent as to amount to an Eighth Amendment violation,” the ruling said.
The Court also noted the qualified personnel used by the Department of Corrections in carrying out lethal injections.
Attorney General Jack Conway said his office would proceed with a review of cases impacted by the decision.
“I am pleased that the Supreme Court upheld the Kentucky Department of Corrections’ lethal injection protocol,” Attorney General Jack Conway said. “My office will review the status of all death row appeals in the Commonwealth and will take appropriate steps to see that these cases move through the court system toward their conclusion.”