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Harbison v. Little

United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee
511 F. Supp. 2d 872 (M.D. Tenn. 2007)


Edward Jerome Harbison (defendant) was convicted of first-degree murder and burglary and sentenced to death. Harbison appealed, petitioned for post-conviction relief, and petitioned for habeas corpus and was denied each time. Tennessee adopted a new lethal injection protocol that provides for the administration of three drugs, sodium thiopental, pancuronium bromide, and potassium chloride in quick succession without checking to see if the prisoner is unconscious. The last two drugs would cause an agonizing death without sufficient anesthesia, and pancuronium bromide may not be used to euthanize animals under Tennessee law. The issue presented to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee is whether Tennessee’s lethal injection protocol constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Trauger, J.)

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