Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Lethal Injection

JIM LEHRER: And, finally tonight, lethal injection before the U.S. Supreme Court. Jeffrey Brown has our story.

JEFFREY BROWN: Is the most often used method to execute prisoners in death penalty cases constitutional?

For several months, executions nationwide have been on hold, pending a Supreme Court decision on that question. It's the first time since 1878 that the court will rule on whether a specific type of execution violates the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

The arguments were heard today. NewsHour regular Marcia Coyle of the National Law Journal was there, and she joins us now.

Welcome, Marcia.

MARCIA COYLE, National Law Journal: Thank you, Jeff.