Judge calls for trial in Kentucky lethal injection case

MGN Online

Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd has called for a trial to resolve disputed aspects of Kentucky's lethal injection method of execution.

In a three-page order issued Friday, Shepherd set a pretrial conference for September, at which time he plans to set a date for a full trial.

Kentucky is barred from executing any inmates under an injunction issued by Shepherd in 2010.

Shepherd previously ruled that Kentucky's plans to use one or two drugs to carry out an execution appeared to pass constitutional muster. But the judge took issue with how the state assesses condemned inmates' mental abilities in the weeks leading up to an execution.

Multiple death row inmates challenged Kentucky's use of three drugs to carry out a lethal injection. As a result, the state has switched to using one or two drugs.

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