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Court Upholds Lethal Injections

Craig Bradley

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

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Date posted: May 16, 2008 ; Last revised: June 30, 2013

Suggested Citation

Bradley, Craig, Court Upholds Lethal Injections (2008). Trial Magazine, June 2008; Indiana Legal Studies Research Paper No. 107. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1129877

Contact Information

Craig Bradley (Contact Author)
Indiana University Maurer School of Law ( email )
211 S. Indiana Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States
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