Supreme Court refuses to ban controversial method of execution
The Supreme Court refused Monday to limit states’ use of a controversial execution method that opponents have likened to being burned alive.
The court’s conservative majority said lethal injection remains the most humane method of execution. During oral arguments in April, they had blamed opponents for exacerbating a shortage of drugs that has forced some states to experiment with less reliable alternatives.
To prohibit the use of midazolam, a sedative that has left some death row prisoners apparently able to feel pain from the next two drugs in a three-drug cocktail, would have unfairly tied the states’ hands, the justices ruled.
Justice Samuel Alito wrote the decision for the court. All four liberal justices dissented vehemently, and two of them said the entire death penalty likely is unconstitutional.
“While most humans wish to die a painless death, many do not have that good fortune,” Alito wrote. “Holding that the 8th Amendment demands the elimination of essentially all risk of pain would effectively outlaw the death penalty altogether.”
Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote the principal dissent for the four more liberal justices, charging that the ruling “leaves petitioners exposed to what may well be the chemical equivalent of being burned at the stake.”
Justice Stephen Breyer went further in a separate dissent. He said the high court should consider the overall constitutionality of the death penalty, once and for all. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg agreed.
“Rather than try to patch up the death penalty’s legal wounds one at a time, I would ask for full briefing on a more basic question: whether the death penalty violates the Constitution,” Breyer said.
That elicited a caustic response from Justice Antonin Scalia, the fourth justice to speak from the bench on the case, which is unusual. He compared the effort by Breyer and Ginsburg to reconsider the death penalty to the decision by five justices legalizing same-sex marriage. In both cases, he said, the people should decide.
“Maybe we should celebrate that two justices are willing to kill the death penalty outright instead of pecking it to death,” Scalia quipped.
Last week we saw the justices trample states’ rights when they bent the 14th amendment to approve homosexual marriage, but this week they’re leaving a drug alone in order to uphold states rights. A drug administered to a felons, who have already been found guilty and sentenced to die. This decision literally affects a handful of people compared to their devastating decision this past Friday which affects most everyone in the country.
It couldn’t possibly more apparent that the supremes are cherry picking when to abide by the Constitution.
They are not the highest peg in our government, they are an equal one third of it and need calling out on their mishandling of these cases.
If that weren’t enough, Breyer and Ginsberg want to go beyond the scope of this case and address the death penalty as a whole. This is not the matter before the court and luckily Scalia’s words put a stop to it.
These liberal lawyers are out of control. Thank God they’re done until October and can’t bring further ruination on our country.