Last Monday, on a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the lethal injection used in Oklahoma does not violate the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. The dispute was over the drug called midazolam, which is the first drug used in the lethal injection cocktail to make the inmate unconscious. Inmates were arguing that the drug was not allowing for a deep enough sleep and that was causing pain later in the injection. Justice Samuel Alito stated that the inmates were not able to offer substantial proof that the procedure used could result in severe pain, nor could they offer an alternative drug. Over the last seven years this is the second time the Supreme Court has looked at lethal injections due to mishaps in several of these executions.
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