Alabama joins states asking high court to OK execution drug

United States Supreme Court SCOTUS

Attorney General Luther Strange announced in a statement released Wednesday that Alabama has joined 12 other states in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold a lethal injection drug.

Arguments will be heard by the Supreme Court on April 29 regarding the effectiveness of the sedative midazolam in executions. Oklahoma inmates  contend the drug constitutes cruel and unusual punishment after it was used in several problematic executions.

Midazolam is the first drug to administered in a three-drug process. Strange’s office, in the court filing, said the drug was “humane and successful” pointing out that it has been used in 11 prior executions.

The brief states, “There is no execution method or drug protocol that the states can adopt to stanch the flood of litigation, unless this Court strictly requires plaintiffs to identify a readily available alternative to the state’s method of execution.”

Alabama agreed to halt executions earlier this year. AL.Com reported U.S. District Court Judge Keith Watkins said of a pending case, “That it is in the best interests of justice to continue a May hearing in that case until after the U.S. Supreme Court rules in the lethal injection case of Oklahoma death row inmate Richard Glossip.”

According to the Alabama Department of Corrections, there are 193 inmates on the state’s death row