Justices Uphold Use Of Drug Implicated In Botched Executions

CBS Miami

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WASHINGTON (CBSMiami/AP) – The Supreme Court, on Monday, upheld the use of a controversial drug in lethal-injections executions—even as two dissenting justices said for the first time they think it’s “highly likely” the death penalty itself is unconstitutional.

Trading sharp words on their last day together until the fall, the justices voted 5-4 in a case from Oklahoma that the sedative midazolam can be used in executions without violating the Eighth Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.

Florida is among the four states that have used the drug in executions. Other states include Arizona, Ohio and Oklahoma.

The drug, used in 2014, took longer than usual and raised concerns that it did not perform its intended task of putting inmates in a coma-like sleep.

Justice Samuel Alito said for a conservative majority that arguments the drug could not be used effectively as a sedative…

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