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Supreme Court dissenters signal historic challenge to death penalty

Supreme Court dissenters signal historic challenge to death penalty

The Supreme Court cleared the way Monday for Oklahoma to continue using a lethal drug cocktail for executions, but, in a surprising dissent, two liberal justices opened the door to what could become a historic challenge to the death penalty itself. By a 5-4 vote, the court’s conservative justices gave Oklahoma, Florida and other death penalty states the go-ahead to administer midazolam, a surgical sedative, as one of the drugs used in lethal injections. But opponents of the death penalty took heart from a meticulously researched and unusually passionate dissent from Justice Stephen G. Breyer, who openly invited a new constitutional assault on the very foundation of capital...

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