Posted: Oct 19, 2012 8:38 PM by Melissa Anderson - MTN News
Updated: Oct 19, 2012 8:44 PM
HELENA - A trial by judge has been scheduled for next summer to try and rectify Montana's death penalty protocol.
Lawsuits brought forth on behalf of two death row inmates, Ronald Allen Smith and William Gollehon, charge that the protocol used doesn't comply with Montana's statute.
Judge Jeffrey Sherlock agrees, saying that the protocol has three flaws, and until those are resolved, all executions in the state will remain on hold.
When the trial by judge rolls around next July, the judge can either agree with the proposed protocol changes, which would open the gates back up to the death penalty.
Or he can disagree with the changes, and the MT Department of Justice will have to go back to the state legislature to amend the statute.
Montana's death penalty has been under a stay since 2009.