Capital punishment is still legal in 32 American states. Although there has been a new setback recently which doesn’t include protesters, activists or state governments repealing the death penalty.
Because they’re running out of the legal injection drugs.
As the death penalty is considered barbaric by many, manufacturers in Europe are cutting off supplies to the drugs needed for lethal injections. This has led to a number of death row inmates having their execution postponed.
CBS News reports that the European Union rarely agree on anything. But what they do agree on is that the death penalty should be abolished.
Many US states use a three-drug protocol. Without any of the three drugs, the execution cannot take place. Officials are now discussing alternative sources, trading drugs between prisons, or privately ordering the drug through pharmacies. Some states, including Missouri, Virginia and Wyoming, are now reconsidering old-fashioned methods such as gas chambers, electrocutions, and firing squads.
This issue has had further complications because some prisoners are appealing the death penalty or lodging lawsuits. They argue that the private arrangements with pharmacies encourages the production of impure drugs that may cause pain during the execution process.
In Ohio last month, a death row inmate took 26 minutes to die painfully after previously-untested drugs were administered to him. Prosecutors argue that the Constitution doesn’t state that prisoners are entitled to a pain-free execution.
There is still 3000 inmates on death row in the US. It is unknown when, or how they will die. Or if they will be in any pain.