As the US Supreme Court has rejected the 2004 case by two death row inmates Ralph Baze and Thomas Clyde Bowling Jr., on the use of lethal injections, it has given US prisons the “OK” to restart the carrying out of executions. The case was rejected by 7-2. According to the two prisoners that made the case, the combination of the three commonly used chemicals violated the ban on cruel punishment set by the United States constitution.
Since September, executions nationwide were postponed. After the recent ruling made, the state of Virginia immediately took action to start carrying out death row executions via lethal injection.
When being executed by a lethal injection, death row inmates are given a sedative, a muscle paralysis drug, and a heart stopping drug in that order. The final drug is the one that grants death. This method was enacted back in 1978.
But, a method such as lethal injection can be mishandled.
Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg and David Souter were the dissenting votes. Justice John Paul Stevens said that the debate is far from over.
Stevens said: “I am now convinced that this case will generate debate not only about the constitutionality of the three-drug protocol… but also about the justification for the death penalty itself.”
There are five states that do extend the death penalty to charges of child rape. Louisiana is one of those five states. Jeffrey L. Fisher, the lawyer to Patrick Kennedy, is arguing that it is cruel and unusual to execute his client on rape. Patrick Kennedy is on death row for the rape of his 8-year-old stepdaughter.
However, it is known that in certain states, child rape is punishable by death. On an interesting note, I learned about that in a subtle way. Back in 2004, I was playing this game called “The Suffering,” where the main character Torque is on death row for murdering his wife and two children.
Before fire and brimstone broke loose, the death row inmates were talking amongst themselves. One of the inmates was charged for child rape. The guy eventually met his fate by getting sliced up by one of the baddies.
In the case of the US Supreme Court ruling on lethal injection, Stevens gave the indication that there will be future debates on the death penalty let alone using lethal injections to carry out execution.
This could probably be an emerging topic come the general elections between the presumed GOP nominee John McCain and the eventual Democratic nominee.