The failed attempt to execute an Ohio man has given new impetus to a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of lethal injection in the state. Technicians were unable to kill Romell Broom on Tuesday, and now a judge is ordering Broom be deposed in the federal lawsuit, a day before the executioners are to try again.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that lethal injection cannot be included under the constitutional amendment barring cruel and unusual punishment, clearing the way for the lifting of state moratoriums on executions that were installed last September.
The Supreme Court has placed a temporary moratorium on the death penalty while it considers the legality of lethal injection, which should take months. Justices Scalia and Alito dissented from the opinion, which spared prisoner Earl Wesley Berry only minutes before he was to be killed.
A man executed in Florida on Wednesday took 34 minutes to die by lethal injection, and required two doses of lethal chemicals. He appeared to grimace before dying, leading some to believe he experienced pain from the procedure.