Lethal Injection: WA Adopts Single Shot Protocol

By Kamika Dunlap on March 04, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Washington has followed Ohio's lead and adopted a new single shot lethal injection protocol.

The state switched from a three-drug to a one-drug cocktail after Ohio's recent success with its single shot lethal injection method.

According to the Associated Press, paperwork filed shows that the state made its decision and wants the high courts to dismiss parts of an appeal of death-row inmate Darold Stenson. The state argues that a challenge of the drug protocol's constitutionality is now moot.

In the motion filed the state said its decision to switch was based on Ohio becoming first to adopt a new single drug lethal injection protocol and other medical experts.

As previously discussed, Ohio is leading the way in single-injection executions. Many states are debating whether alternative approaches to lethal injection should be considered.

In addition, Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia are among those watching Ohio's new method closely but say they will keep the three-drug method for now.

Critics have argued that using a single drug, the preferred method in animal euthanasia, is more humane than the three-drug cocktail, as previously discussed.

Ken Biros was the first Ohio death row inmate and the first person in the U.S. to be executed under the new one-drug method.

Washington's new policy change will be the presumed method however the three-drug injection method will be allowed for inmates who request it.

Death-row inmates may opt for hanging instead of lethal injection.

The Department of Corrections maintains that its three drug protocol is constitutional, according to the motion filed.


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