Friday, January 28, 2011


Even with judicial blessing, the conduct of executions in this country is a shambles. In Arizona and Georgia, the sodium thiopental used in executions has possibly been ineffective and almost certainly been illegal. It came from Dream Pharma, an unlicensed British supplier, run from a driving school. The batches carried a date of 2006. They were likely made by a company in Austria that went out of business. The drug is said to be effective for only a year. As a foreign-made drug without approval by the Food and Drug Administration, it is prohibited by federal statute.


Rules exist for reasons. In this case, states that conduct executions are supposed to ensure that the protocols are followed in order to minimize the chances of a botched execution and/or physical suffering by the condemned.

Clearly in these cases the law was not followed. What sort of example does this sordid behavior set? The rest of us can pick and choose which law to follow - or not - based on expedience?

It is bad enough that states continue to follow a failed policy. Doing so under these circumstances makes it seem almost clandestine and desperate. Nothing dignified about this behavior whatsoever.

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