A federal judge says Missouri’s method of executing prisoners is not done consistently, is subject to change at a moment’s notice, and has relied on a dyslexic surgeon to correctly mix the drugs that kill the inmate. District Judge Fernando Gaitan says the system of administering the three drugs leaves condemned inmates facing an unnecessary risk that they suffer unconstitutional pain and suffering while they’re being executed. He has ordered the state to hold no more executions until specific changes are in place. Spokesman Scott Holste with the Attorney General’s office says the Attorney General and the Corrections Director are trying to fully understand the order. Judge Gaitan says an anesthesiologist, not a surgeon, must mix the drugs and certify the inmate is so deeply unconscious that he or she will not feel undue pain when the last drug is admisnitered. He also orders the state to have, apparently for the first time, a strict written policy for the procedures. Holste says it’s unclear if the state will appeal the ruling.
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