I am reminded of our debate about Halal sausages when it comes to this next topic because it seems that the execution of Jeffrey Landrigan has been delayed because there is a shortage of the particular drug that begins the three stage process of lethal injection.
There are plenty of Americans who think that Jeffrey Landrigan should have been executed at 10am local time today, but it seems that Arizona has run out of a legal supply of sodium thiopental, one of the drugs used for lethal injections in 34 states. Today, blogs are full of offers by volunteers who would like to take the task upon themselves – whether with a gun (“There’s no shortage of lead”), a baseball bat or their own cocktail of poisonous liquids.
However, yesterday federal judge Roslyn Silver stayed the execution. There is only one legal source of sodium thiopental in the United States, which is the pharmaceutical company Hospira. The drug is only the first step in a three-stage process but, according to the supreme court, “[i]t is uncontested that, failing a proper dose of sodium thiopental that would render [a] prisoner unconscious, there is a substantial … risk of suffocation … and pain from the injection” of the two subsequent drugs. Hospira recently refused to play any further role in capital punishment, insisting that the company is in the business of saving lives, rather than taking them.
Like the Halal question in the earlier post the issue here is avoiding cruelty to the condemned and there is some merit in that but it strikes me as being slightly ridiculous that the state of Arizona does not have a backup method should anti-Capital punishment activists make the supply of the necessary drugs difficult. Done correctly death by hanging is almost instantaneous and it requires nothing that can’t be bought at your local hardware store. But I suspect that the attraction of lethal injection has more to do with it leaving an unmarked corpse than it being a more humane method.After all in the theatre of justice the rituals have to match the expectations of the audience.
In the theatre of justice the rituals have to match the ……
Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……
They got the stuff flown in from the UK. He’s dead now.
[…] Sooner” cheer as his final words at his execution in Arizona last night. Of course, given ArizJeffrey Landrigan – One would have to call Jeffrey Landrigan the ultimate Die Hard Sooner fan. Landrigan gave the […]
well that is good to know Mr B 🙂