Worried About Lethal Injection Supplies? Help Is On the Way!

Posted on March 16, 2011


Author: Stan Moody

AOL News, on January 25, published an interesting article about capital punishment in the US being on hold because of inability of private industry to produce the necessary drugs.

It seems that Hospira, of Lake Forest, IL, announced last week that because of shortages of raw material supplies, it will go out of the business of manufacturing Sodium Thiopental, a sedative critical to lethal injections. It had planned to switch to an Italian manufacturer, but Italian authorities insisted on a guarantee that the drug would not be used in executions.

“We cannot take the risk that we will be held liable by the Italian authorities if the product is diverted for use in capital punishment,” Hospira said in a statement.

This has left states scrambling to find alternatives before they are forced by litigation from pro-death penalty groups to get back on schedule. On the other side, anti-death penalty organizations will be suing for repeal. “This is clearly going to cause a problem for a lot of states,” Richard Dieter of the Death Penalty Information Center, neutral on the death penalty, told The Washington Post.

Anti-death penalty groups are understandable. Pro-death penalty organizations lobbying and filing law suits boggles the mind. Neutral-death penalty groups raising money for their neither-for-nor-against position is beyond understanding.

Ohio and Oklahoma have announced a switch to the anesthetic Pentobarbital, likely to have relieved many an anxiety over the potential of a backup in the execution production line.

Are we listening to ourselves? A private company in Italy demands that their product not be used for executions. A US company refuses to sell a product because it would violate its relationship with the supplier. Death Penalty proponent, Dudley Sharp, meanwhile said, “I guarantee litigation. There will be a showdown.”

States and pro-death penalty advocates are wringing their hands over delays in carrying out this grizzly procedure, while private industry and foreign countries restrain the use of chemicals that could be used in lethal injections. By comparison with the US, Italy has 1/7 the incarceration rate.

The shame of our capital punishment laws honored by 35 states has been obscured by focus on the efficiency of carrying out executions. We are an angry, volatile nation that dispatches justice with the same production-line efficiency exhibited in the abortion industry. Meanwhile, those most eager to meter the death penalty to the vilest of offenders are pro-life Christians. Go figure!

May God have mercy!