Kentucky governor signs death warrant despite medical association guidance
A newly elected state governor, a doctor, has been criticised by a group of medical students for signing a prisoner's death warrant, because guidelines from the American Medical Association say that doctors should not actively take part in executions or do anything that “would directly cause the death of the condemned.” The case is causing a furore, partly because the governor is a doctor and partly because the prisoner is thought to have an IQ of only 74.
Republican governor Ernest Fletcher last month signed the death warrant of convicted murderer Thomas Bowling, aged 51. The execution by lethal injection was scheduled for 30 November but was postponed when a circuit court and Kentucky Supreme Court both issued stays of execution. Mr Bowling's lawyer, Susan Balliet, had raised questions about the constitutionality of Kentucky's method of execution, which is by giving intravenously 2 g of pentobarbital.
The case also raises