US District judge Fernando Gaitan says the state’s suggested new execution protocol is not good enough. Gaitan wants a state board-licensed anesthesiologist to be present to supervise executions. The state says it can’t find any anesthesiologists who would do it, and suggests using other medical personnel. Gaitan says the absence of an anesthesiologist leaves the door open to strong arguments that executions might be torturous. He says he does not intend to create unreasonable delays in executions with his rulings, however. The Attorney General’s office already has filed an appeal of Gaitan’s original order, saying it effectively blocks executions in Missouri. The US Supreme Court has taken on the issue, agreeing to consider cases from other states that claim lethal injection violates the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
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