LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A judge in Kentucky says recent botched executions in Oklahoma and Ohio throw into question the state's proposed use of two drugs to carry out a lethal injection.
Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd said in a two-page order that "legitimate questions have been raised" about the constitutionality of Kentucky's execution protocol because the methods in all three states are similar.
In the order issued Thursday, Shepherd allowed inmates in Kentucky to raise the problems in a challenge to how executions are carried out.
In January, Ohio inmate Dennis McGuire snorted and gasped for 26 minutes before dying. Oklahoma inmate Clayton Lockett died of an apparent heart attack 43 minutes after his April execution began. Officials there have pointed to improper insertion of the needle delivering the drugs.