Justices uphold use of drug implicated in botched executions

June 29, 2015

The Supreme Court of the United States has upheld the use of a controversial drug that has been implicated in several troubled executions.

The justices on Monday voted 5-4 in a case from Oklahoma that the sedative midazolam can be used in executions without violating the Eighth Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.

The drug was used in executions in Arizona, Ohio and Oklahoma in 2014 that took longer than usual and raised concerns that it did not perform its intended task of putting inmates into a coma-like sleep.

The case is Glossip et al. v. Gross et al., 14-7955. Justice Samuel Alito delivered the majority opinion joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.


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