States must take the right measures to ensure the effectiveness of the drugs used for lethal injections, including appropriate procedures to ensure the proper manufacturing, transportation, handling, and use of the drugs.
Unavailability of lethal chemicals - drug makers, facing protests and potential boycotts, resisting supplying them for executions - has forced states with capital punishment to search for sources and led some states to postpone executions or authorize other methods.
According to a recent Buzzfeed investigation, the people in Missouri responsible for actually executing death row inmates were paid, in total, over $250,000 in hard cold currency since 2013, in possible violation of federal tax laws.
As stories keep emerging about errant United States-operated drones that wreak havoc on individuals towards whom the drones and their operators bore no animus, it is reassuring to hear the apologies that always follow such events thus demonstrating our humanity.
Let's be honest. Whether or not the death penalty, as a whole, is constitutional was never at issue in this case. The question regarding necessary standards and uniformity in the method for executing inmates, however, was in full display.
The rifleman mustering for a firing squad is honest - an icon of retribution without pretense. If we can own his violent act on our behalf, capital punishment suits us. But clinical killing is euphemism - a cowardly way for us to deceive ourselves.
At the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday morning, it will once again be a matter of life or death. Specifically, the Justices will be considering a morbid potpourri of death penalty issues arising out of the controversy over the drugs that states use to put people to death.
If we're not ashamed of executing our lowlifes -- strange that rich people never seem to get executed, what's that all about? -- then let the Bible be our guide and let's kill lots of people for all kinds of crimes and let's do it brutally.