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Supreme Court Seems Split Over Lethal Injection

The Supreme Court heard arguments in a case testing whether lethal injection — the method used for executions in most states — is constitutional. Opponents say the three drugs used, and the way they are administered, create the potential for a tortuous death that would amount to cruel and unusual punishment.

The case at issue originated in Kentucky, and the state's lawyer told the justices that employees who administer the drugs make sure that the prisoner feels no pain.

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Nina Totenberg is NPR's award-winning legal affairs correspondent. Her reports air regularly on NPR's critically acclaimed newsmagazines All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition.