After weeks of legal wrangling over whether lethal injection can cause a painful death, three-time murderer David Dawson was put to death today in Montana, reports USA Today. Dawson kidnapped a couple and strangled them and a son in a Billings, Mt., hotel room. Their daughter survived.
The execution took place against a backdrop of court cases around the U.S. over the constitutionality of lethal injection. Some states have put executions on hold until it can be decided whether the lethal injection, designed as a humane alternative to methods like hanging and electrocution, poses too great a risk of a cruel death. Two years ago, Dawson fired his attorneys and tried to end all appeals. Still, a coalition of civil liberties and religious groups tried court after court in recent weeks. The courts, citing Dawson’s wish to die, said the groups had no right to interfere.