Glossip, et al. v. Gross, et al
In a 5-4 decision in Glossip v. Gross, a divided U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the use of a controversial drug as part of the government’s lethal injection protocols for death row executions. Citing the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment, death row inmates had challenged the State of Oklahoma’s plan to use midazolam, an anti-anxiety drug that experts indicate would not create the deep coma needed to prevent inmates from awakening and avoid excruciating pain in death penalty executions. In justifying its ruling, the Court declared that the inmates did not show that an alternative method of execution entails a lesser risk of pain.