Is lethal injection cruel and unusual punishment? | The Tylt

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The New Republic reports, due to chronic drug shortages, states are now using drugs that are completely untested for executions. The drugs themselves are being administered by prison employees, because medical professionals refuse to participate in executions. One drug in particular, midazolam, has been associated with botched executions, but is also the same drug Arkansas plans to use in its "assembly-line execution" of eight men in 10 days.

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But even Americans who support the death penalty are generally appalled by the idea of the electric chair, hanging, or firing squads:

“Americans tend to want the death penalty to be as sanitary as possible,” said Andrew Novak, a professor at George Mason University who studies the death penalty in the U.S. and abroad. 
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The situation in Arkansas has outraged death penalty opponents and human rights advocates. Activists say we've seen these drugs can cause extended and excruciating deaths from recent experience—and no matter what crimes these people have committed, cruel and unusual punishment is forbidden by the Constitution.

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Other people applaud Arkansas' choice and believe Death Row inmates have forsaken their rights—and if they die a painful death, so be it.

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Others say alternatives like gas chambers and electric chairs are not much better. Death is simply painful.

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