Loden v. MississippiAnnotate this Case
In this, Thomas Edwin Loden Jr.’s fourth petition for post-conviction relief, he challenged the Mississippi Department of Corrections’ use of midazolam in its lethal-injection protocol. He claimed that midazolam was not an “appropriate anesthetic or sedative” that, “if properly administered in a sufficient quantity, is likely to render the condemned inmate unconscious, so that the execution process should not entail a substantial risk of severe pain” under Mississippi Code Section 99-19-51 (Supp. 2018). Loden requested the Mississippi Supreme Court to enter an order forbidding the State from using any drug, including midazolam, as the first drug in its lethal-injection series. The Court determined, from review of Loden's filings and affidavits on whether a 500-milligram dose of midazolam met Mississippi’s statutory definition of an “appropriate anesthetic or sedative,” Loden offered no more than the ipse dixit arguments of his expert, Craig W. Stevens, Ph.D. "Loden has failed to carry his burden of proof in presenting a substantial showing of the denial of a state or federal right as required by Mississippi Code Section 99-39-27 (Rev. 2015), for the portions of his affidavits related to the efficacy of a 500-milligram dose of midazolam are a 'sham' and are not supported by established medical literature." Moreover, the United States Supreme Court considered the same arguments presented in Loden's petition and rejected them. Accordingly, Loden's petition for PCT was denied.