Opponents to Friday's scheduled execution of Paul Ezra Rhoades at the Idaho Maximum Security Institute are still hoping for a last-minute reprieve.
Attorneys for Rhoades, who earlier this week were denied a stay of execution from U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Bush, filed for a similar stay late today, this time from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
"We remain dedicated to challenging Idaho's lethal injection protocol," said a statement from the federal defender's office. "We maintain it could subject Mr. Rhoades to substantial risk of severe pain."
Rhoades' attorneys also said they are continuing to urge Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter to exercise his executive powers to grant a reprieve "until a full hearing can be held before the Parole Commission."
Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho said late today that the execution procedures were "in clear violation of federal law."
The ACLU argued that the public and press should have full access to view the execution procedure in its entirety.
"It is well settled that the First Amendment gives the public the right of access to governmental proceedings," said Monica Hopkins, executive director of the ACLU of Idaho, "It is especially important in death penalty proceedings."
Brent Reinke, director of the Idaho Department of Correction, told Citydesk late today that three teams (escort, medical and injection) have been rehearsing twice a day at the maximum security facility south of Boise. The run-through has even included voluntary staff members acting as Rhoades, as the teams walk through each step of the planned execution.