US Supreme Court asked to Block Further Lethal Injections using Sedative
Lawyers for three Oklahoma murderers asked the US Supreme Court to ban the usage of lethal injections used as sedative when the death penalty for a convict is announced. The lawyers suspect that the drug, midazolam, is unable to put a convict into deep sleep.
But they could make little success as the lawyers had to face the court's conservative majority Wednesday. Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. stated that executions can be carried out painlessly. There are states where assisted suicide is legal, there terminally ill patients may obtain drugs allowing them to have a peaceful death.
He also stated that opponents of capital punishment make it very difficult for states like Oklahoma to have drugs like sodium thiopental that induces deep sleep. Justice Antonin Scalia agreed that the 'abolitionist movement' has caused a lot of problem for states that used lethal injections.
On the other hand, liberal justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan blamed Oklahoma are pressing ahead with the use of midazolam. It is a sedative that might not prevent an inmate from suffering burning pain during an execution.
For so many years, Oklahoma has been using three-drug protocol. Sodium thiopental induced a deep sleep. Then, pancuronium bromide was injected to paralyze the muscles, and potassium chloride stopped the heart. It is said that the last drug can cause a severe pain unless a person is not sedated to the level of insensibility.
The court's recent action suggests that the majority does not want to block the use of the substitute drug - midazolam. Chief Justice John Roberts was on the side with the Supreme Court's liberals that states may stop judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign contributions.law