Kentucky judge plans to rule 'very promptly' on executions

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Associated Press

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A Kentucky judge says he plans to rule "very promptly" on the state's request to lift an injunction barring executions since 2010 and whether it may use a new single-drug method to carry out lethal injections.
   
Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd on Monday described the issues surrounding executions as "a difficult matter" after a 90-minute hearing in Frankfort.
   
Attorneys for the state asked Shepherd to allow executions to go forward with a new one- or two-drug method. Earlier this year, the state adopted an execution process similar to Ohio's to replace a lethal injection method using three drugs.
   
Shepherd halted lethal injections in 2010 as the state prepared to execute 56-year-old Gregory L. Wilson for the 1987 rape, kidnapping and murder of 36-year-old Debbie Pooley in Kenton County.
 

Earlier story:

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Attorneys for Kentucky are set to argue why lethal injections should be allowed to go forward for the first time in more than four years.
   
Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd will hear arguments at 2 p.m. Monday in Frankfort. The state earlier this year switched from using three drugs to carry out a lethal injection to a method that uses 3 grams of sodium thiopental or 5 grams of pentobarbital - similar to the method used by Ohio.
   
Shepherd halted lethal injections in 2010 as the state prepared to execute 56-year-old Gregory L. Wilson for the 1987 rape, kidnapping and murder of 36-year-old Debbie Pooley in Kenton County. Shepherd expressed concerns about the method and later ordered the state to drop the three-drug method or defend it in court.

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