In death penalty cases, many states use a three-drug cocktail for what's called "lethal injection." It begins with sodium thiopental to render the prisoner unconscious; pancuronium bromide paralyzes all muscle movement; potassium chloride induces cardiac arrest. Two condemned men in Kentucky claim that some convicts are awake and able to feel excruciating pain, which means they suffer "cruel and unusual punishment" as prohibited by the eighth amendment. Today, the US Supreme Court took up their case. Professor Alison Nathan wrote an amicus brief for today's case on behalf of the Law and Ethics Center at Fordham Law School in New York City.
Supreme Court Hears Lethal Injection Case