The Supreme Court announced on Friday that it will review Oklahoma's lethal-injection protocol, determining whether the state's current drug combinations qualify as cruel and unusual punishment, which is constitutionally prohibited under the Eighth Amendment.
The justices will hear arguments in April — at least a month after three Oklahoma inmates who have filed the suit are currently scheduled for execution, The Wall Street Journal reports. The inmates' attorneys will likely try to have those executions stayed, pending the court's decision. A fourth inmate who had been involved in the case, Charles Warner, was executed on Jan. 15, after the Supreme Court denied his request for a stay, The New York Times notes.
Warner was the first inmate to be executed since the botched April 2014 execution of Clayton Lockett, on whom a new lethal drug combination was used. Lockett appeared to suffer pain and struggle to breathe before finally dying in the chamber of a heart attack.
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