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Supreme Court Won’t Hear Case of Death Row Prisoner Who Sought Firing Squad Over Lethal Injection

HeadlineMay 25, 2021

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear the case of a Missouri death row prisoner who is seeking to be shot by a firing squad rather than die by lethal injection. Ernest Johnson suffers from epilepsy and says Missouri’s plans to inject him with the drug pentobarbital will trigger excruciating seizures that amount to cruel and unusual punishment. After the court’s six conservatives declined to hear Johnson’s case without explanation, Justice Sotomayor wrote in a dissenting opinion signed by Justices Breyer and Kagan, “Missouri is now free to execute Johnson in a manner that, at this stage of the litigation, we must assume will be akin to torture given his unique medical condition.”

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