Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Execution raises ethical dilemma
California has indefinitely postponed the execution of condemned killer Michael Morales after two anesthesiologists refused to take part in it.
Morales, convicted in the 1983 murder a 17-year-old girl, had argued that the chemical cocktail to be used in his lethal injection violated the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment found in the Eighth Amendment.
Consequently, a US District Judge last week ruled that California must change the drugs it uses when executing prisoners, and the Ninth Circuit on Sunday approved the presence of a doctor to ensure that Morales would be unconscious during the execution.
However, just hours before the execution was to begin, the two anesthesiologists withdrew their agreement to monitor the injection of a three-drug sequence and to make sure Morales was unconscious as he was being put to death.
As a result, the execution was postponed indefinitely.
Schwarzenegger is part of the case too. The California governor rejected Morales’s clemency petition twice.