Inside the Supreme Court’s Latest Case on Cruelty and the Death Penalty


Deborah Denno was quoted in an America magazine article about lethal injection as a form of capital punishment.

Until this decade, lethal injection had been widely regarded within the justice system as a “humane” way to end a life, though some, like Deborah Denno, a professor of law at Fordham University in New York, have always been skeptical of that characterization.

“The first lethal-injection execution was in 1982, and that was botched,” says Ms. Denno, who adds, “we’re just looking at this with much more criticism and scrutiny than we did before.”

Ms. Denno says that problems with executions are simply better known these days. Not only do some executions fail, others take hours to carry out. Where these instances were once covered only by local newspapers, their details are now shared by millions online.

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