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Sunday, June 16, 2024 | Back issues
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High Court Won’t Lift |Stay in Fla. Execution

(CN) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday refused to lift a stay of execution for a convicted quadruple murderer in Florida while the court continues to review the propriety of the drug mixture used in lethal injections.

As is its custom, the high court offered no explanation for its rejecting a request by Florida officials to allow the execution of Jerry William Correll to be carried out.

Correll was scheduled to die Thursday for the June 1985 killings of his ex-wife, daughter and his ex-wife's mother and sister.

The Florida Supreme Court granted the stay on February 17, after the Supreme Court announced it would consider whether the sedative used in the executions -- midazolam -- is truly effective.

The delay of Correll's execution is the fourth that has occurred since the Supreme Court said it would consider the issue, but it is the first to be delayed outside of Oklahoma.

Oklahoma became ground zero for the debate of the sedative after the botched execution of Clayton Lockett in April 2014, drew widespread criticism.

In the aftermath of that execution, in which it took Clayton nearly 45 minutes to die, Oklahoma reviewed its protocols and adopted a new lethal injection method, increasing the amount of midazolam that it uses in lethal injections. Then the U.S. Supreme Court said it would review the new protocol, staying three scheduled Oklahoma executions in the process.

In deciding to stay Correll's executive, Jorge Labarga, chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court, said the state must "err on the side of extreme caution" until the high court has its say.

"Because the lethal injection protocol under review in the Supreme Court is virtually identical to the Florida three-drug lethal injection protocol, a stay of execution in this case is appropriate," Labarga wrote.

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