“A prison medical technician told Nance that the execution team will have to ‘cut his neck’ to carry out lethal injection,” Wilson wrote. “During his execution, Nance will likely endure a prolonged and painful attempt to gain intravenous access.”
Even if the execution team locates a vein, there is a substantial risk Nance’s vein will lose its structural integrity and “blow,” said Wilson, who was joined by Judges Beverly Martin and Adalberto Jordan. This will cause “intensely painful burning and a prolonged execution that will feel like death by suffocation.”
Wilson noted that Nance is not seeking to avoid his execution.
“He accepts his fate,” Wilson said. “He does not ask to be spared. Nance asks only that the method by which the state will take his life falls in line with his Eighth Amendment right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment.”
In response, Chief Judge Bill Pryor, joined by Judges Kevin Newsom and Barbara Lagoa, said the court’s ruling is consistent with U.S. Supreme Court precedent.
Nance had already exhausted all the appeals that Congress allows such inmates to pursue, Pryor said. “Federal courts do not have jurisdiction to provide the remedy for every right denied.”