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ACLU Wants Prison Execution Drug Outlawed

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photo courtesy of miss millions/flickr.com

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union is arguing in state District Court that the method Montana plans to use to execute a Canadian on death row is unconstitutional.

The ACLU on Wednesday asked District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock to rule that the lethal injection protocol amounts to cruel and unusual punishment under the U.S. and Montana constitutions.

The ACLU filed the lawsuit in 2008 on behalf of Ronald Allen Smith.

Smith originally sought the death penalty after pleading guilty in 1983 to the shooting of two Blackfeet Indian cousins. He later changed his mind and is now also seeking executive clemency from the governor.

The Montana Department of Corrections argues that its revised execution protocol meets constitutional muster.

Any executions in the state have been postponed while the case is in court.

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