Last month, a stay of execution was granted to Manuel Valle that arranged a review of the lethal injection protocol, prolonging Valle’s time on death row. Valle voiced concerns about the new lethal injection drug, pentobarbital.
Valle’s criminal defense lawyer argued that pentobarbital would subject him to substantial harm, which resulted in the postponing of his death sentence. Earlier this week, The Florida Supreme Court lifted the temporary stay and found the use of pentobarbital constitutional.
A news release from Attorney General Pam Bondi stated that “The Florida Supreme Court reaffirmed the circuit court’s denial of postconviction relief and stated that no motion of rehearing would be entertained.”
On Monday July 25, 2011 the Florida Supreme court determined that Manuel Valle, convicted of killing a police officer, had valid concerns regarding the new death penalty drug. As a result, Valle’s death sentence has been postponed until September 1. In general, an inmate’s concerns elsewhere have not put a stop to executions.
According to an article published by Reuters, the Supreme Court determined that “[Valle] has raised a factual dispute, not conclusively refuted as to whether the use of pentobarbital in Florida’s lethal injection protocol will subject him to a ‘substantial risk of serious harm.’”
What is the difference between pentobarbital and sodium thiopental(the drug previously used)?
Not much except that Pentobarbital is often used to euthanize animals. The reason many correctional facilities are using the drug is because there is a shortage of sodium thiopental and it will not be made by U.S. manufacturers any more.
Valle’s lawyer’s argued that pentobarbital will subject him to substantial harm. It isn’t uncommon in recent days that a criminal defense attorney will argue the risk of harm to postpone a sentence.