Fearing Abolition of the Death Penalty, The Supreme Court Upholds Lethal Injection

lethal-injection (1)

Fearing the United States would abandon its membership in the club of death-penalty countries like Iran and China, the Supreme Court ruled that death by legal injection is constitutional.

Writing for the majority, Justice Alito said:

For two independent reasons, we also affirm. First, the prisoners failed to identify a known and available alternative method of execution that entails a lesser risk of pain, a requirement of all Eighth Amendment method-of execution claims.

Second, the District Court did not commit clear error when it found that the prisoners failed to establish that Oklahoma’s use of a massive dose of midazolam in its execution protocol entails a substantial risk of severe pain.

The 5-4 majority’s fear that a ruling against lethal instruction would render the death penalty obsolete was obvious during argument.  A ruling against death would reward those terrible death penalty abolitionists who, Justice Scalia blamed during argument, as the villains that made this case possible.

Let’s begin with a little background.  Most states lethal injection procedures used a three-drug cocktail.  The first drug makes the inmate unconscious.  The second drug paralyzes the inmate that also stops his breath.  The third drug stops the inmate’s heart. The drug, sodium thiopental, was used by most states as the first drug in the protocol.  However, drug companies refused to sell that drug for use in executions.  Most drug companies also refused to sell the second choice, phenobarbital, for executions.  Oklahoma turned to midazolam that is a sedative – not an anesthetic like the two preferred drugs are.

According to Scotusblog, Justice Scalia was hopping mad during argument that opponents of the death penalty successfully pressured the manufacturers to refuse selling drugs to states so that the states could use them to kill people.

Justice Scalia whined about the unfairness of companies denying states access to the drugs of choice for the first step in their 3 step protocol for executions. Those terrible people made it harder for states to exercise their constitutionally recognized right to kill people.

The States have gone through two different drugs, and those drugs have been rendered unavailable by the abolitionist movement putting pressure on the companies that manufacture them so that the States cannot obtain those two other drugs.

Then Justice Kennedy asked the plaintiffs’ lawyer what weight the court should give “the fact that there is a method [to execute prisoners painlessly], but that it’s not available because of . . . opposition to the death penalty?”

This is an interesting point when you consider that state legislatures and Congress are doing their utmost to make medically safe abortion unavailable because of their opposition to abortion. Efforts to make constitutionally protected rights less accessible were of little concern to Kennedy and Scalia when the issue was women’s reproductive rights. Moreover, just as the case with the death penalty, by forcing clinics to close with TRAP laws, they are removing the better option for women – in favor of coat hangers and unsanitary conditions.

The bottom line is the Supreme Court decided that they aren’t going to let those bad death penalty abolitionists stand in the way of a state’s right to kill people But hey, we’re still in the death penalty nations club with Iran, Saudi Arabia, and China.

6 Replies to “Fearing Abolition of the Death Penalty, The Supreme Court Upholds Lethal Injection”

  1. On daily basis therre are reports of drug overdoses, people with too much heroin in their system.

    On daily basis there are drug raids that collect thousands of pounds of “drug stuff”.

    Hello!… use the FREE nice collected drugs, give those bad people a good trip and be done with it.

  2. Heaven forbid we actually ban state murder, and act with compassion. That would be way too “Christian” for the USA. Oh wait…the right keeps hitting us over the head with their Bibles. Where is it written “Thou shalt not kill?” I know it’s in there somewhere..right after, women are idiots and can’t be trusted with any decisions related to their health.

  3. My reaction exactly. But I guess we’ve got to keep some “Christian” identity in the pro-death penalty gang. It’s positively embarrassing to live in a country that loves so to incarcerate people and to execute them. Isn’t the Supreme Court even a little bit concerned about the number of innocent or mentally-deficient people who have been executed over the years?

  4. Agree completely. There are so many cases of wrongful imprisonment with mistaken or lying victims or witnesses, incompetent attorneys, racial profiling, lost evidence, crooked prosecutors, racially motivated police, etc. How could anyone live with that on their conscience?

  5. States simply need to return to the firing squad as a method of execution. No need to deal with the expense/availability of pharmaceuticals and circumvents the cruel and unusual punishment argument.

Comments are closed.