by Jim Ridley
At issue in the ruling yesterday that halted Stephen Michael West's scheduled execution is a conundrum: Is there really a humane and constitutional way to kill someone? Jeff Woods, in the CP:
The state Supreme Court acted Monday to stop the executions of four inmates, including one set for Tuesday, to consider whether prison officials have found a way to carry out lethal injections humanely.
The court gave Davidson County Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman 90 days to rule on the constitutionality of the state’s new lethal injection procedure.
The ruling came hours after lawyers for condemned double-killer Stephen Michael West asked the court to stop his execution Tuesday (read article here). They argued prison officials have failed to ensure he won’t suffer horrific pain as he suffocates on the gurney in the death chamber.