Earlier today the US Supreme Court announced that it would be reviewing the execution procedure used by Oklahoma. This announcement came after the state used a controversial lethal injection cocktail to put an inmate to death earlier this month.
A lawsuit was filed by three death row inmates claiming that the state’s lethal injection “cocktail” vAccording to the lawsuit filed by three death row inmates, Oklahoma’s lethal injection combination violates the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, which protects Americans from cruel and unusual punishment. The inmates argue that the sedative midazolam, which is used by Oklahoma during executions, is not strong enough to knock inmates completely unconscious and protect them from pain, Reuters reported.
Additionally, the lawsuit states that since midazolam is not considered effective enough to use in surgery, it should not be used for lethal injections.
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As the Supreme Court reviews the case, it will decide whether the state’s lethal injection procedure does indeed violate inmates’ constitutional rights.
“We are pleased that the court is going to review this case,” said the inmates’ attorney, Dale Baich, to the Guardian. “There has been a dramatic shift in how the states carry out lethal injections since the last time the court looked at this issue.”
All three inmates are scheduled to die before the Supreme Court hears arguments in the case, and Baich said he would seek stays of execution until a verdict is rendered.
The lawsuit was originally filed by four inmates, but one of the men – Charles Warner – was executed on January 15 after the justices voted 5-4 to allow the lethal injection to proceed.