By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Supreme Court on Monday found that a lethal injection drug used by Oklahoma does not violate the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment, a ruling that provoked a caustic debate among the justices about the death penalty in America. The 5-4 ruling, with the court's five conservatives in the majority, prompted liberal Justices Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg to say for the first time they believe capital punishment as currently practiced may be unconstitutional. The decision was a defeat for death penalty foes and for the three death row inmates who challenged the use of a sedative called midazolam as part of Oklahoma's lethal injection process, saying it cannot achieve the level of unconsciousness required for surgery, making it unsuitable for executions.
By Roberta Rampton and Lindsay Dunsmuir WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday signed into law legislation that gives him "fast-track" power to push ahead on a Pacific Rim trade deal that has been the subject of intense debate in Congress and across the nation. Flanked by some of the lawmakers who supported the bill through a six-week congressional battle, Obama acknowledged that his fight to secure the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership was far from over. "We still have some tough negotiations that are going to be taking place," Obama said at a signing ceremony.
Sweat, 35, was being treated at Albany Medical Center following his capture on Sunday near the Canadian border. Fellow escapee Richard Matt was shot and killed on Friday. The convicted murderers escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, where they were discovered missing on June 6.