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Stevens suggests Derby horse euthanized more humanely than prisoners

[JURIST] US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens suggested to a gathering of lawyers and judges Friday in Tennessee that the Kentucky Derby horse Eight Belles [contender website] may have been euthanized more humanely than some prisoners. The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported Stevens had been surprised to find out that one of the three drugs authorized for lethal injections of death row convicts was in fact banned on horses. "I had checked the procedure they used to kill the horse,” Stevens said. The Chattanooga Times Free Press has more.

Last month the Supreme Court ruled [JURIST report] in Baze v. Rees that Kentucky's lethal injection protocol did not infringe the Eight Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. Stevens concurred in the judgment [opinion text]. Suspended lethal injection executions resumed in the US last week in the wake of Baze, with Georgia putting to death William Earl Lynd, who was convicted of the 1988 murder of his girlfriend. The horse Eight Belles was euthanized on the track [Boston Globe report] following the May 4 Kentucky Derby, having broke both of its front ankles.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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