Spared ex-Texas death row inmate loses Supreme Court appeal

FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows death row inmate Thomas Whitaker. The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, unanimously recommended the death sentence of Whitaker be commuted to life. Whitaker is set for lethal injection Thursday, Feb. 22, for masterminding the fatal shootings of his mother and brother at their suburban Houston home in 2003. (Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP, File)

HOUSTON (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to review an appeal from spared former Texas death row inmate Thomas Whitaker that questioned whether the state’s use of a compounded version of the powerful sedative pentobarbital for executions would cause unconstitutional pain.
The high court Monday offered no comment on its decision refusing the civil rights lawsuit filed by Whitaker and another condemned prisoner, Perry Williams.
Whitaker last week won a rare clemency from Gov. Greg Abbott. An hour before Whitaker was scheduled for execution Thursday, Abbott agreed with the state parole board that his death sentence should be reduced. Whitaker now is serving life without parole.
Whitaker was convicted of arranging a plot that left his mother and brother fatally shot. His father, wounded in the attack, had urged the commutation.

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