From [HERE] The enterprise of lethal injection is dysfunctional across the country. The states that are performing or attempting to perform executions use flawed procedures and experimental drug protocols and operate with extraordinary secrecy. Other states are avoiding the complications and the risks by simply not carrying out executions. Much attention—by the states, the courts, and the press—has been focused on the difficulty states have in procuring execution drugs, and many judges and lawmakers are incensed by a perceived connection between drug unavailability and condemned prisoners challenging the constitutionality of execution procedures. That purported connection—often trumpeted by states—has led a number of courts to view the litigation as suspect (at best) and disingenuous (at worst).
To be sure, states face real challenges and obstacles to executions, including court-ordered stays in lethal injection litigation, high-profile botched executions, and difficulties obtaining drugs. But under the law, drug availability and the factors affecting it have no bearing on condemned prisoners’ legal and constitutional rights, particularly their protections under the Eighth Amendment. In their haste to keep executions on schedule, most states have declined to engage in a careful examination of execution procedures with the goal of identifying those that are humane and effective. Rather, state officials have responded to the challenges with ill-conceived, dangerous, and even illegal actions, and neither courts nor state governments have stepped in to stop them. [MORE]