On September 19, 2007, the US District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee ruled that Tennessee's execution procedures constituted "cruel and unusual" punishment. US District Judge Aleta Trauger held that revised death penalty protocols in the state did not ensure that prisoners' are properly anesthetized before they receive a lethal injection and thus violated their Eighth Amendment rights. The decision came after Tennessee conducted its first execution under the revised guidelines in May 2007. And Tennessee recommenced executions by lethal injection following the Supreme Court's decision which upheld the procedure in Baze v. Rees.
Learn more about the laws governing the death penalty and lethal injection from the JURIST news archive, and read commentary from Laura Porter on JURIST Hotline.