Stop racist executions!

The Supreme Court has backed the use of an execution drug used in U.S. prisons over the objection of death row inmates. By a vote of 5-4, the court’s five right-wing justices on June 29 gave the stamp of approval to death-penalty states to utilize midazolam during executions. Their ruling in Glossip v. Gross endorses painful deaths and has been widely denounced by progressive forces everywhere.

Four Oklahoma death row prisoners had brought the lawsuit seeking to stop the use of midazolam. One inmate has since been executed. While the drug is supposed to decrease pain during executions, the prisoners say that it does not — and cited three excruciating executions in 2014 that used the drug. Plaintiffs claimed the state’s three-drug protocol violates the Eighth Amendment’s ban on “cruel and unusual punishment.” Absurdly, the high court also ruled that the prisoners had to take responsibility to find an available alternative to this drug.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote the main dissent, joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan. In the Glossip v. Gross section of the Supreme Court’s blog, Sotomayor stingingly criticizes the ridiculous “available-alternative requirement.” “Petitioners contend that Oklahoma’s current protocol is a barbarous method of punishment — the chemical equivalent of being burned alive. But under the court’s new rule, it would not matter whether the state intended to use midazolam, or instead have petitioners drawn and quartered, slowly tortured to death or actually burned at the stake.”


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A couple messages from the article:


19 states plus Washington, D.C., have abolished the death penalty.


What kind of government continues to kill prisoners and tortures them in the process?