Midazolam Ruling Opens another Can of Worms

Midazolam Ruling Opens another Can of Worms

Life is full of firsts. This was demonstrated today by the Supreme Court when a 5-4 vote was cast about midazolam, the drug that has been used over the past two years as a sedative in botched executions. This highly controversial drug was ruled constitutional; however, this also led to another age-old controversy being opened back up for courtroom debate.

The main part of the case was deciding whether the use of midazolam violated our Eighth Amendment rights which are to protect American citizens from cruel and unusual punishment from government entities. Perhaps due to the fact that eight death row inmates were the ones who filed this case, Justice Stephen Breyer submitted a separate dissent: “I would ask for a full briefing on a more basic question…whether the death penalty violates the constitution.”

“Welcome to Groundhog Day,” said Justice Antonin Scalia, who replied immediately to Breyer’s statement. (I assume Scalia’s comment meant, “Oh great, here we go again” in reference to re-opening a historical can of worms for debate!)

So, looks like we have two things going here:

  1. Do you think that midazolam being ruled constitutional was the right decision? Or, do you believe as the inmates’ lawyer, Robin C. Konrad that this drug can “never maintain the deep coma-like unconsciousness that is necessary to prevent a prisoner” from feeling pain during the lethal protocol?
  2. Do you support the death penalty?

As always I look forward to your reactions, opinions and comments! Let’s talk!

Posted by Ginger Hill on Jun 29, 2015

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