Capital Punishment And The Death Penalty

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Capital punishment or the death penalty is punishment by death of a person who has been legally tried in a court of law for a capital crime. The morality and constitutionality of the death penalty has recently come up for debate again after the European pharmaceutical companies, who produce Pentobarbital, one of the drugs most commonly used to execute the death penalty sentence via lethal injection, stopped exporting and allowing the sale of the drugs to the United States. (Steiden, 2014) (Levitt & Feyerick, 2013) Since then multiple lawsuits have been filed by incarcerated individuals and opponents of the death penalty after several states began looking into new drug combinations or having variations of the banned drugs created by compounding pharmacies locally. (Levitt & Feyerick, 2013) Two such lawsuits were filed by Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner, who were both found guilty of capital crimes and sentenced to death in Oklahoma. Both Lockett and Warner argued for a stay on their execution dates until the controversies over the new drug protocols adopted by the state of Oklahoma were cleared up. (Eckholm, 2014) Other lawsuits filed have argued that using untested drug protocols in lethal injections should be considered “cruel and unusual punishment.” (Levitt & Feyerick, 2013) The debate really heated up after Clayton Lockett’s appeal for a stay was denied and he appeared to have suffered for an extended amount of time during his execution. (Steiden, 2014)
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