Indiana Supreme Court rejects challenge to execution combo

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled prison officials can change execution drugs without going through a public review.

The Indianapolis Star reports the court Tuesday rejected a challenge by death row inmate Roy Ward. The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled last June that the Department of Correction didn’t follow proper procedures in selecting a new three-drug combination in 2014.

However, the Supreme Court in a unanimous nine-page ruling said the state’s new three-drug combination is “not subject to the Administrative Rules and Procedures Act.”

The state had argued Indiana law doesn’t require such a rulemaking process and would unduly delay executions. Indiana has 12 death row inmates but no executions are currently scheduled.

Ward was convicted in the 2001 rape and murder of 15-year-old Stacy Payne in Spencer County.

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill praised the high court’s ruling, saying it helps clear the way for Ward’s execution.

“The challenge mounted against the DOC in this case was merely an effort to impede the wheels of justice,” Hill said. “Thanks to the Court’s wisdom, however, the path is now clear once again toward a destination that is right and proper for those dangerous lawbreakers who commit society’s most heinous crimes.”

 

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