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Home » Turner Law Offices Blog » Lethal Injections? SCOTUS Says “OK”

Lethal Injections? SCOTUS Says “OK”

The founding fathers brainstorm about capitol punishment.

The founding fathers drafting death penalty legislation alongside professionals in the field.

The U.S. Supreme Court must be trying to get all of their controversial topics out of the way this month. Following their recent rulings on both same-sex marriage and Obamacare, justices announced the final verdict of their “death penalty” case today. The issues concerned the type of lethal injection drugs used by Oklahoma. In a 5-4 ruling, SCOTUS maintains that “midazolam” is still an acceptable means of euthanizing criminals.

Cruel And Unusual?

Despite the case’s conclusion, there are some who wonder whether or not the U.S. government should even allow capitol punishment. Justice Stephen Breyer put forth, “I would ask for a full briefing on a more basic question: whether the death penalty violates the Constitution.” The 8th Amendment clearly states that execution may not be pursued in a manner considered “cruel and unusual,” and this particular case questioned whether midazolam meets this criteria.

The drug is supposed to put criminals into a “deep, coma like unconsciousness” so that the other injections used afterward can do the actually killing painlessly. But is it really painless? It’s not like we can ask euthanized criminals to fill out a customer survey. According to proponents of the current use of midazolam, the drug does in fact meet the requirements of the 8th Amendment – well, they’re pretty sure. It seems as though 500 mg of midazolam “with near certainty,” knocks out prisoners enough to remove any potential hurt from the dying process.

Capitol Punishment In Tennessee

So where does Tennessee stand in terms of the death penalty? First off: yes, the state does permit capitol punishment. Until 1999, the primary method of execution was via electrocution – but ever since Florida’s botched euthanasia using The Chair, lethal injection has become the standard. However, criminals who were convicted prior to 1999 may still be executed in the electric chair. Tennessee is one of the 32 states that still allows the death penalty, and for better or worse, only six executions have occurred in the past fifteen years.

Have questions about the death penalty in Tennessee? Our experienced criminal defense attorneys are some of the best in Tennessee, and they’re ready and waiting to talk, to listen, and to represent you in your case. Call Turner Law Offices, P.C. today and request your free initial consultation online for immediate assistance!

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