DOJ: News Release

McGrath Comments on U.S. Supreme Court Injection Case

HELENA – Montana Attorney General Mike McGrath commented today on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on lethal injection.

The Court held, in a 7-2 vote, that the protocol used in Kentucky does not violate the U.S. Constitution’s ban on “cruel and unusual punishment.” A protocol similar to Kentucky’s is used by Montana, the federal government and more than 30 other states.

Earlier this month, attorneys for Montana State Prison inmate Ronald Allen Smith filed a claim in state court challenging Montana’s lethal injection protocol.

McGrath noted that the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion does not end the Montana challenge, and that the Montana case will be decided on an analysis of the state constitution.

“Today’s decision from the U.S. Supreme Court does not resolve Smith’s case,” McGrath said. “It could, however, have an impact on the Montana court’s interpretation.”

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