A frustrated five-judge minority on the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decried the “dysfunctional patchwork of stays and executions” in capital cases since January, when the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to explore a procedural attack on lethal injection.

Some 38 states use lethal injection out of the 39 that permit capital punishment. In all, courts around the country have granted nine stays of execution, but 15 condemned inmates have been executed during the same period that the lethal injection issue has been pending.

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