Here & Now Here & Now

Support the news

Is Oklahoma's Death Penalty Cruel And Unusual? Supreme Court To Decide10:46

Play
This July 25, 2014 file photo shows bottles of the sedative midazolam at a hospital pharmacy in Oklahoma City. (AP)closemore
This July 25, 2014 file photo shows bottles of the sedative midazolam at a hospital pharmacy in Oklahoma City. (AP)

The U.S. Supreme Court is examining whether the death penalty method in Oklahoma constitutes cruel and unusual punishment for using a virtually untested drug called midazolam.

The plaintiffs, several prisoners on death row in the state, brought the case after the botched execution of Clayton Lockett, who took 43 minutes to die on the gurney in April of 2014.

Jeffrey Stern wrote about what happened that night in a story for next month’s Atlantic magazine. He joins Here & Now's Robin Young to talk about why departments of corrections have been scrambling to find execution drugs, why Oklahoma and other states settled on midazolam and what may change when the Supreme Court ruling comes down next month.

Guest

This segment aired on May 20, 2015.

+Join the discussion
Share

More from Here & Now

Support the news