Lethal Injection, The Most Humane Method Of Execution Essay
In Baze v. Rees (2008), the Supreme Court reviewed the three-drug protocol then used for lethal injection by 30 states. The court ruled that the three-drug cocktail at issue in Baze did not violate an inmates Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishments. This three-drug cocktail contained 1) sodium thiopental, a barbiturate used to induce a state of unconsciousness, 2) a paralytic agent to inhibit all muscular-skeletal movements, and 3) potassium chloride to induce cardiac arrest.
In response to this ruling, anti-death penalty advocates rallied to pressure the pharmaceutical companies who manufacture sodium thiopental and another commonly used drug, phenobarbital, to stop the production of these drugs for use by prisons for lethal injections. The lack of available drugs has forced states to search for alternative, comparable drugs as the first drug in the three-drug protocol. Recently, some states such as Ohio, Oklahoma, Florida, and Arizona have been forced to utilize midazolam, a benzodiazephine drug in place of the sodium thiopental.
Currently four states are utilizing the drug, midazolam, a benzodiazepine, as the first drug in the three-drug protocol used for lethal injections. Prison’s seeking to impose the death penalty…