Supreme Court execution ruling won’t affect Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Pennsylvania prison officials say the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on a drug used in executions won’t affect the commonwealth’s capital punishment process.

Corrections Department spokeswoman Susan McNaughton said the drugs to be used in Pennsylvania executions are spelled out in the statutes, and the drug under review by the nation’s highest court isn’t among them.

The U.S. Supreme Court by a 5-4 margin on Monday upheld the use of the sedative midazolam despite arguments that it violated the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Gov. Tom Wolf earlier this year imposed a moratorium on the death penalty in Pennsylvania.

The commonwealth has executed three people since the death penalty was legalized in the 1970s; all had dropped their appeals. The most recent execution was in 1999.

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