The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld Kentucky's lethal injection procedures for carrying out capital punishment.
In a 7-2 decision authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, the Court held that Kentucky's lethal injection protocol -- involving the administration of three drugs -- does not violate Eighth Amendment protections against cruel and unusual punishment. The challenge was brought by a number of convicted murderers sentenced to death in Kentucky, who claimed that there was a significant risk that the lethal injection procedures would not be properly followed. According to the Associated Press, "[t]he argument against the three-drug protocol is that if the initial anesthetic does not take hold, the other two drugs can cause excruciating pain." Lethal injection is utilized as a method of capital punishment in 36 states.