Thursday, February 16, 2012

The medicine cabinet is almost bare

What is a bloodthirsty governor supposed to do when he runs out of one of the drugs in the lethal cocktail used to murder inmates in his state?

What can he do if the only manufacturer of the drug has announced that it will not sell the drug to anyone who plans to use it to kill people?

If he wishes to fuel his next run at the White House with the state's killing machine, Rick Perry is going to have to come up with a new way to kill. According to the Guardian newspaper, Texas only has enough pentobarbital for six more executions.

If Texas is able to find a drug - that it can obtain legally - to replace pentobarbital in the lethal cocktail, will that lead to a constitutional challenge to the state's execution protocol? Would the state be required to provide documented evidence that the new drug renders the prisoner unconscious and oblivious to the pain of the drug that stops his heart?

But the bigger question is where would Texas, or any other state exercising its blood lust, get their hands on such a drug? Is there a manufacturer somewhere that won't mind the publicity they'd receive over being the execution drug of choice?

And if Texas finds someone willing to provide the drugs, would anyone face and consequences for violating the licensing agreements with the manufacturers?

And what of Mr. Perry's mantra of limited government? Exactly how does Mr. Perry square that with supporting the power of the state to take a life? Of course intellectual consistency has never been something Mr. Perry was ever accused of possessing.

The death penalty is cruel and barbaric. Most of the world gets it. Unfortunately, we don't.

Killing an inmate has never brought the dead person back to life. Killing an inmate has never eliminated the pain of anyone who has lost a loved one.

Maybe now the end is in sight.

H/T Grits for Breakfast

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