Attorney General Jay Nixon has appealed a federal judge’s order that has blocked executions in Missouri. The appeal says United States District Judge Fernando Gaitan’s order requiring anesthesiologists prepare and supervise lethal injections effectively bans executions because anesthesiologists have refused to be part of the procedure. Lawyers for prison inmate Michael Taylor, whose case triggered Gaitan’s ruling, have urged Gaitan to reject the state’s response to his ruling. The state has suggested Gaitan allow unidentified “medical personnel” to take care of the drug-mixing and injectins. Taylor’s lawyers call the proposal “completely unacceptable” and say it does not protect inmates from risk of unconstitutionally painful executions. The US Supreme Court also has taken on cases challenging lethal injection, putting on hold executions across the country.
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