Published on: Friday, February 3, 2023

One of the macabre facet of Eighth Amendment death penalty litigation is that a person on death row challenging their method of execution must propose an alternative.

Man on Georgia death row: requests execution by firing squad instead of lethal injection because a medication he is taking may render the execution sedative ineffective and has a vein condition that will make the injection procedure inhumane. Georgia: request denied. Firing squad is “relatively uncommon and archaic.” Eleventh Circuit (after being reversed by the Supreme Court on a procedural issue): Firing squad is a valid alternative, and the medication-related claim is both timely and viable. But the vein-related claim needs more facts to support it.

The case is Nance v. Commissioner, No. 20-11393 (11th Cir. Jan. 30, 2023).