Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Rounds Will Stay Execution

From the Argus:
South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds said he will stay the execution of Elijah Page because of a problem with state law.

At issue: The state planned to execute Page with three drugs, but state law outlines only two.

"I asked that we go back through and confirm and review the existing statutes," Rounds said at a news conference.

When word of the stay spread through the crowd of about 15 death penalty protesters outside the state penitentiary, they formed a circle, linked arms and sang “We Shall Overcome.”

Rounds said the reason for the stay has to do with a flaw in South Dakota's law regarding lethal injections.

State law says the lethal injection should be carried out using a two-drug combination, “a lethal quantity of an ultra-short-acting barbiturate in combination with a chemical paralytic agent and continuing the application therof until the convict is pronounced dead.”

However, corrections officials were prepared to execute Elijah Page using a three-drug combination that’s nearly universal among states that have lethal injection.

Rounds said he and Attorney General Larry Long had learned of the legal concern regarding the drugs used only hours before Rounds issued the stay.
So it took him all this time to figure out that state law called for only 2 drugs?

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