The de facto nationwide moratorium on executions for the last six months is likely at an end as a result of the Supreme Court’s 7-2 decision Wednesday upholding Kentucky’s protocol for lethal injections.

Two death row inmates had challenged the procedure used by Kentucky and 34 other states, claiming that if improperly administered, it could cause excruciating pain before death, in violation of the Eighth Amendment ban on “cruel and unusual” punishment.

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