Law Office of Matthew T. McNally Articles Atlanta Lawyers Delay Execution Due to Expired Drugs

Atlanta Lawyers Delay Execution Due to Expired Drugs

By Law Offices of Matthew McNally   Feb. 28, 2011 10:06p

The legal team representing Roy Willard Blankenship, who was convicted of rape and murder in 1978, sought to delay the execution by casting doubt on the potency of the lethal injection drugs utilized by the state. Blankenship claimed that if the sedative, sodium thiopental, administered in the first step of the execution had expired, it would no have the proper effect, therefore causing extreme pain and suffering when the second and third drugs were used to end his life. During the initial trial, Blankenship had claimed innocence, saying that he had broken into the apartment that night trying to steal a car, but that another man had been responsible for the rape and murder. His attorneys have tried to get additional DNA testing performed in hopes of exonerating him.

Lethal injection Drug Shortages Cause Constitutional Challenge

While waiting, his attorneys used the expired drug argument as a way of buying more time for the tests to be performed. Sodium thiopental is used in the first step of executions to sedate the condemned, preventing them from feeling pain when the next two drugs are administered. Blankenship's attorneys argued that this drug is what makes lethal injection execution constitutional, and that expired drugs would therefore invalidate the process.

A shortage of this drug in the United States has forced several states, including Georgia, to purchase new supplies from England. The defense argued that the labels on the drugs proved that they were manufactured at least three years ago, and were nearing their expiration date. Blankenship's execution has been delayed pending the results of the drug suit and the DNA tests.

Do you need a criminal defense attorney in Atlanta?

If you or a loved one has been charged with a violent crime, the consequences can be life threatening. Georgia is extremely harsh on violent offenders, with high rates of executions compared to other states. It is essential that you seek the help of a qualified legal professional with experience in criminal defense. Matthew McNally is a dedicated  criminal defense attorney who has served in countless cases throughout Georgia. He can help provide you with a top-notch defense tailored to the specifics of your case.

Contact an Atlanta criminal defense lawyer for a free consultation!

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