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Judge halts execution scheduled for US inmate

Judge halts execution scheduled for US inmate

A judge on Friday halted the execution of a Kentucky man convicted of a 1987 rape and murder and barred the state from carrying out any other executions because of questions about the state's lethal injection process.
The ruling comes six days before the state was set to carry out the execution of 53-year-old Gregory L. Wilson at the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville.
Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd ruled Friday that the state's protocol for an execution is inconsistent with the state's law and doesn't provide a safeguard to prevent a mentally retarded or criminally insane inmate from being executed.
"The Court finds that there are at least two substantial questions of law regarding the validity of the administrative regulations that require the Court to issue an injunction to preserve the status quo until the entry of final judgment," Shepherd wrote.
Wilson and two other inmates challenged how Kentucky put its protocol into place.
Wilson has also appealed to the Kentucky Supreme Court to grant DNA testing in his case, as well as testing to see if he's mentally retarded and ineligible for execution. A Kenton Circuit judge last week turned away Wilson's request for mental testing and DNA testing, saying the issues were either raised too late or wouldn't make a difference in the outcome of his case.
Wilson was convicted in 1988 of kidnapping, raping and murdering 36-year-old Deborah Pooley in northern Kentucky.
Kentucky readopted its lethal injection protocol in May, seven months after the state's top court halted executions because the written process wasn't properly put into place. The inmates immediately challenged it.
Kentucky's protocol covers a variety of issues, including what to do about a condemned, pregnant inmate, but doesn't address if or how the state Department of Corrections should determine whether an inmate is mentally retarded or insane.
State law spells out that Kentucky may carry out a lethal injection by the use of one drug or a combination of drugs. The protocol accounts only for using three drugs and, for older cases, the option of death by electrocution.


Updated : 2021-07-27 22:52 GMT+08:00