Yesterday Texas planned to use a new drug for the execution of death row prisoner Cleve Foster. Last night Foster was granted a stay while the state reviews his case. Like many states, it is experimenting with its lethal injection process due to a shortage of the sedative sodium thiopental.
The new method was shrouded in secrecy until records revealed Texas prison officials chose a replacement execution drug, pentobarbital, without consulting a medical professional and relied on news articles to help them choose a sedative for the state’s three-drug lethal injection cocktail that is intended to prevent pain, inhibit muscle movement, and stop the inmate’s heart. On Friday, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency demanded Kentucky and Tennessee hand over their supply of the drug because of concerns it may have been illegally imported.
Do you think states should be allowed to test drugs on inmates?
Do you think inmates should still have constitutional rights, even though they might be on death row?