WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two inmates on Kentucky’s death row — one convicted of the slayings of two drycleaners in 1990 — will soon test the constitutionality of execution by lethal injection before the Supreme Court. The state’s lethal-injection procedures amount to cruel and unusual punishment, according to the inmates.
Lawyers representing Thomas Clyde Bowling Jr. and Ralph Baze presented evidence that the three chemicals used for lethal injection in Kentucky could produce excruciating pain. The case may postpone all executions using lethal injection nationwide; almost every state still enforcing a death penalty and the federal government employ this method in executions.
Bowling was convicted of shooting Edward and Tina Earley to death and wounding their two-year-old son outside their Lexington, Ky., drycleaning business. Baze was convicted on two counts of murder in the shooting of two police officers, and has been issued a stay of execution until the case is heard.