Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt statement on Supreme Court ruling: 'The state of Oklahoma is vested with the authority to carry out the sentence of death handed out by juries for the most heinous of crimes. State officials act deliberately and thoughtfully in carrying out this responsibility. This marks the eighth time a court has reviewed and upheld as constitutional the lethal injection protocol used by Oklahoma. The Court's ruling preserves the ability of the Department of Corrections to proceed with carrying out the punishment of death'
Editor's note: After today's two Supreme Court decisions, five cases remain before the term ends, typically at the end of June. The high court has yet to rule on major cases involving the legalities of same-sex marriage and a lethal injection drug used in recent botched executions. More decisions are expected tomorrow and possibly moving into next week. - Rebecca
Editor's note: We are watching for the Supreme Court to issue another batch of decisions from this term at 10 a.m. ET, with an eye out for major rulings on the legalities of same-sex marriage, Obamacare subsidies upon which as many as 9 million people are dependent and a lethal injection drug used in a recent botched execution in Oklahoma. At noon, we will live stream a media briefing from NY State Police on the search for 2 escaped inmates, which has shifted to Franklin County. - Tricia
Editor's note: The Supreme Court issued just one decision this morning and granted three other cases. The next decision day for the court is scheduled for June 18. Orders on health care, same-sex marriage and death penalty drug cases still remain. - Rebecca
Several U.S. states have been seeking alternative lethal injection compounds since the European Union barred German and Danish drugmakers from selling sodium thiopental, an anesthetic commonly used in lethal injections, to U.S. prisons in December 2011, says Jennifer Moreno of the Death Penalty Clinic at the University of California School of Law. The lone U.S. supplier, Hospira, stopped making the drug in early 2011.
Pentobarbital, a barbiturate used in euthanizing house pets, is considered a controversial alternative to sodium thiopental because it is little-regulated and, if contaminated, can cause extreme pain. In Missouri, state legislator John Rizzo wants all executions halted until it's determined whether the drugs come from pharmacies not licensed in Missouri.