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Ralph Baze is a convicted murderer who sued the Kentucky State Department of Corrections along with fellow inmate Thomas Clyde Bowling Jr. to challenge their impending execution. He and Bowling sued on the grounds that execution by lethal injection using the "cocktail" prescribed by Kentucky law constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the 8th Amendment. Baze's court case was Baze v. Rees.
Baze had been scheduled for execution on 25 September 2007 but, on 12 September, was issued a stay of execution by the Kentucky Supreme Court. The United States Supreme Court agreed to hear his appeal. On April 16, 2008 the Court affirmed the Kentucky Supreme Court's decision that the injection protocol does not violate the Eighth Amendment.
Baze does not dispute that he shot and killed Powell County, Kentucky Sheriff Steve Bennett and Deputy Arthur Briscoe in 1992 as they attempted to serve an arrest warrant on him, but claims that the shootings were self-defense.
- "Baze V. Rees". Law.cornell.edu. Retrieved 2014-04-09.