States keep mum on where lethal injection drugs are made

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Deborah Denno comments to the ABA Journal about lethal injection and compounding pharmacies, a companies that manufactures the drug but without the same level of federal oversight as big manufacturers.

“Any death penalty lawyer worth their salt would be challenging the method of execution in their particular state,” says Fordham University law professor Deborah Denno, who studies capital punishment.

Denno says that challenges of lethal injections have accelerated since 2008, when the Supreme Court approved Kentucky’s three-drug protocol by a 7-2 vote in Baze v. Rees. Even though the Supreme Court upheld the state’s protocol in that case, the plurality opinion, written by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., left room for new litigation. Roberts wrote that a method of execution could be unconstitutional if it creates a “substantial risk of serious harm,” and if there’s a feasible alternative.

Read the entire ABA Journal article.

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