Faculty Notes

Prof. Eric M. Freedman Comments in New York Times Story on SCOTUS Lethal-Injection Drug Case

Eric M. Freedman, Siggi B. Wilzig Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Rights

Justices to Hear Challenge That Argues Lethal-Injection Drug Causes Agony
By Erik Eckholm
The New York Times
April 26, 2015


Another question posed in Wednesday’s case is whether those challenging a lethal injection protocol must show that alternative drugs are available.

A brief filed by Alabama, joined by 12 other states, charges that the Oklahoma prisoners’ suit is part of a pattern of “thinly veiled attempts to prevent an offender’s execution by any method.” The solution, it says, is to require the plaintiffs “to present an acceptable, available alternative to the state’s protocol.”

Eric M. Freedman, a professor of law at Hofstra University, called this argument unfair.

“It is the government’s obligation to conduct an execution that is not cruel and unusual,” he said. “The government cannot shift that obligation to the prisoner.”

A version of this article appears in print on April 27, 2015, on page A10 of the New York edition with the headline: Justices to Hear Challenge That Argues Execution Drug Causes Agony.

Read the full article.