Nine minutes after a lethal dose of drugs was shot into his arms, Texas murderer Michael Richard last night (Sept. 25) became the 929th death-row inmate in the United States to be executed by lethal injection since capital punishment was reinstated in 1977.
The three-drug mixture used to stop Richard's breathing and then his heart is the same chemical cocktail the U.S. Supreme Court — just hours before — agreed to scrutinize in a case that challenges the way 37 states put inmates to death.
The case was brought by two Kentucky prisoners, who argue that the state's drug regimen exposes inmates to illegal cruel and unusual punishment. The appeal doesn't seek to throw out lethal injection as a form of capital punishment but seeks changes in how it's administered and reviewed in the courts.
Read the full report Lethal Injection Goes on Trial, But Goes On on the Stateline.org Web site.