Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Repugnant markets in drugs used for legal executions

The New Republic has the story: Big Pharma May Help End the Death Penalty

"Thirty-two states retain the death penalty in the U.S., but a new obstacle is making it increasingly difficult for them to carry it out. Pharmaceutical companies are taking a moral stand. The manufacturers of the drugs required by state departments of corrections for executions are saying they will not allow their products to be employed in this way. Manufacturers in the UK, US, Denmark, Israel, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and India have taken steps to prevent their drugs being used in executions.
This has had an astonishing effect. Shortages of lethal injection drugs and attendant litigation have resulted in moratoriaan official halting of executionsin Arkansas, California, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, and Tennessee. Historically, state entities do not move directly from having the death penalty to abolition. They begin with a moratorium on killing and then, when the population has grown unused to executions, the death penalty can be abolished. Of the states mentioned above, Maryland abolished the death penalty this year and abolition bills have been put forward in Nebraska, Colorado, and California. California came very close to passing its abolition billvoting against by 52 to 48. Meanwhile, the media coverage of the issue has exposed the unsavoury details of the execution process and created opportunities for serious debate about abolition."

HT: Jason Poulos

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