Court Upholds Lethal Injections
Indiana University Maurer School of Law
Trial Magazine, June 2008
Indiana Legal Studies Research Paper No. 107
In this article I discuss in detail the Court's holding in Baze v. Rees (dec. 4/16/08) in which the Court upheld, by a vote of 7-2, the use of Kentucky's lethal injection protocol in imposing the death penalty. Chief Justice Roberts' plurality opinion could only garner 3 votes (including his own) and the article explains why this was the case. It also discusses the plurality's conclusion as to why Kentucky's protocol is acceptable, indeed desirable, compared to the alternatives. Finally it recognizes the fundamental basis for the decision: If, as conceded, the death penalty is constitutionally allowed, then there must be some way of carrying it out. The petitioner's were unable to satisfy a majority of the Court that any other alternative was significantly better.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 6
Keywords: Criminal Law, Death Penalty, 8th Amendment, Lethal Injection
Date posted: May 16, 2008 ; Last revised: June 30, 2013