Judge rules Oklahoma’s controversial lethal injections are allowed

The three-drug protocol used for executions in Oklahoman was challenged by claims that it caused “unacceptable pain and suffering”, but after a complex legal case involving numerous medical opinions, it was ruled constitutional. Meanwhile, in Ohio, a ban on transgender sports can lead to genital checks.

CNN: Judge rules Oklahoma lethal injection method constitutional following legal challenge by dozens of death row inmates

Oklahoma’s use of a three-drug lethal injection method is constitutional, a federal judge ruled Monday following a lawsuit by nearly 30 death row inmates challenging the protocol. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of 28 death row inmates, named officials from several Oklahoma prison agencies and claimed the state’s lethal injection method violates the Eighth Amendment because it causes “pain and constitutionally unacceptable suffering,” according to the ruling. (Wolfe, Musa, and Razek, 6/7)

In other health news across the US –

Columbus Dispatch: Ohio’s Transgender Athlete Bill May Require Genital Checks

As soon as House Republicans passed a bill to prevent transgender girls from playing on women’s sports teams in K-12 or college, opponents began to wonder how doctors would check the biology of a miner. They claim that girls of all ages could be required to undergo full pelvic exams if an opposing team’s coach, player or parent questions their gender. They are right. House Bill 151, also known as the “Save Women’s Sports Act,” states that if a participant’s gender is in dispute, she must verify her gender with a physician “only” in the following ways. 1. An examination of her internal and external reproductive anatomy. 2. His normal “endogenously produced testosterone levels”. 3. An analysis of his genetic make-up. (Staver, 6/6)

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: New sexual assault kit tracking system debuts in Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s new system to track sexual assault kits as they move from hospital staff to law enforcement and crime lab testing has now been launched, Attorney General Josh Kaul said Monday. The tracking system was created following legislation enacted in December. It allows survivors of sexual assault to log into a database using a barcode, not personally identifiable information, to see the status of the kit as it goes through the process of test. The system’s debut continues a years-long effort by the Wisconsin Department of Justice to improve sexual assault kit investigations statewide. In 2014, Kaul’s predecessor, Brad Schimel, launched an effort to test thousands of untested kits held by law enforcement and hospitals. (Hughes, 6/6)

Indianapolis Star: Indiana launches new program to get rid of toxic firefighting foam

From Joel Thacker’s office window, he can see the Indiana Law Enforcement and Fire Department Memorial – a large limestone pillar dedicated to the Hoosiers who lost their lives in the line of duty. The names of eight firefighters were added to it last year, the state fire marshal said. Six of them were due to cancer. Heart disease and stroke were once the leading cause of death among firefighters. But from 2002 to 2019, cancer caused 65% of firefighter deaths in the line of duty, according to the International Association of Fire Fighters. Research now shows that one of the tools used by firefighters to tame flames is also a primary source of cancer-causing chemicals. PFAS is a broad group of toxic chemicals used in thousands of consumer products, including foams used to extinguish fires. (Archer, 6/7)

AP: discovery of partially treated sewage in the Blackstone River

Environment officials are urging residents to avoid a stretch of the Blackstone River after it was discovered on Sunday that sewage was flowing into the river from a sewage treatment plant. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management said it is investigating the release of partially treated sewage from the Woonsocket Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility. Officials said they were made aware of the dump Sunday morning and it was “currently in progress”. (6/5)

AP: Hard Rock Boss speaks with NJ Governor on casino smoking

The chairman of global casino and entertainment company Hard Rock recently spoke with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy about the “economic challenges” of banning smoking in casinos, which a bill pending before the state legislature would do. Murphy said he will sign a bill banning smoking at all nine Atlantic City casinos if the legislature passes it. A spokeswoman said Monday he stood by that position, but declined to comment further. (Spare, 6/6)

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