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Bad Idea of the Week: State Should Make Lethal Injections

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD on June 13, 2014 4:39 PM

The controversy stirred up by the botched execution of Clayton D. Lockett in Oklahoma has left states asking -- in my humble opinion -- the wrong question. Rather than reexamining the moral implications of a society that allows the death penalty to exist as a legal means of punishment, states are trying to figure out how to kill people.

Some states are going back to the electric chair, while others ponder the firing squad, reports The Associated Press. So Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is proposing something new -- something akin to a very popular show on AMC about a chemistry teacher who becomes a drug dealer, which will remain nameless.

Russell Bucklew's Execution Stayed

It's important to examine the AG's actions in context. Last month, Missouri death row inmate Russell Bucklew's execution was stayed because he has a rare medical condition that could result in a very painful death from lethal injection. In an appeal that made it to the Supreme Court, the execution was stayed pending "further consideration in the lower courts whether an evidentiary hearing is necessary."

State Should Make Deadly Cocktails

One week later, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster made a novel suggestion to get around the growing obstacle and secrecy with which lethal injections must be obtained: he suggested that the state should "make its own execution drugs," reports the AP. According to Koster, all the state needs is a sterile room and a pharmacist to mix the drugs. Two top Republican Missouri legislative leaders believe this proposal should be explored further.

John Winfield's Execution Stayed

In this context, a federal judge stayed the execution of another Missouri death-row inmate, John Winfield, though on different grounds. In Winfield's case, his attorneys are arguing that prison officials threatened a prison employee who was going to sign a declaration that Winfield was a "model prisoner" and on the basis of a juror who claims that she was "pressured to vote for death," reports NBC News.

For now, the executions are stayed, and the Missouri AG's idea is just an idea. We're hoping his suggestion won't gain too much traction, but then again, won't be surprised if it does. Either way, we're filing it under "bad idea of the week."

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