Supreme Court has heated debate over use of execution drug

04/29/2015 // West Palm Beach, Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)

Washington – The High Court engaged in a heavy discussion Wednesday over whether the use of the drug midazolam should be banned during executions. According to a report by The Associated Press (AP), the justices debated for more than an hour over the complaints from death row inmates in Oklahoma who say the sedative does not prevent feeling the pain from other drugs utilized in carrying out executions.

Conservative justices reportedly complained that some who oppose the death penalty are working to limit the supply of drugs that are more effective, while liberal justices argued that the way executions are carried out in most states amounts to painful punishment.

The Supreme Court became involved in the case in January with the court’s justices exhibiting public disagreement over broader elements concerning executions.

Justice Stephen Breyer stated in giving an opinion on one side of the debate, “Perhaps there is that larger question, that … if there is no method of executing a person that does not cause unacceptable pain, that, in addition to other things, might show that the death penalty is not consistent with the Eighth Amendment.”

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