Excerpted from aldaily.com

For some years now, the principal challenge to the practice has been the argument that this or that particular method of execution is cruel and unusual. So states are kept in perpetual quest of the impossible, as death-penalty opponents and skeptics push to restrict ever more tightly the range of methods that can be plausibly passed off as humane. This pressure has in turn compelled representatives of American prisons to virtually reproduce the very behavior of the criminalized drug users they are in the habit of imprisoning: lurking around with bags of untraceable cash, looking to buy lethal compounds from shady operators in Britain, India, and elsewhere. And now we see what seems, in a plot sense, much like a showdown: the Drug Enforcement Administration has begun raiding prisons to crack down on their importation of illegal drugs, intended for the execution of death-row inmates.

Does this article says, since many people oppose cruel execution of death penalty, in order to make execution efficient, faculties of prisons(representatives of American prisons) secretly allow prisoner (who had been sentenced to death) to buy drugs, and then catch them doing this, so they can make them more guilty, hence put them to death quicker?

  • 1
    No, it means that prison authorities themselves invent ways to obtain illegal drugs. They would never relegate such a task to an inmate. These illegal drugs are used to produce chemical compounds for the carrying out of executions. Dec 31, 2015 at 6:42

2 Answers 2


The United States currently has an issue with the ability to legally obtain drugs for executing criminals. Prisons in states that strongly support the death penalty have experienced strong pressure to complete executions of convicted prisoners, but as they cannot easily and legally obtain the drugs that have been approved for this use, they have resorted to buying them illegally from suppliers in other countries.

In short, and without trying to take any political stance on the matter, there are groups that are pushing for the death penalty to be abolished who have made some headway in the past decade, and the bad publicity that results from a pharmaceutical company selling drugs to kill people has caused suppliers in the United States to stop offering the drugs. Additionally there have been a couple of cases of mishandled executions by lethal injection in the past few years (approximately 2-5% of attempts by this method are flawed in some way) and a disturbing number of exonorations (people who were sentenced to death but who were later shown to be innocent of the crime.) All of this has made it more difficult for supporters of capital punishment to actually perform executions. It's another consequence of the weird government we have here, with individual states varying widely in their laws and political climates while also belonging strongly to a single nation.

Regarding additional guilt making an execution occur sooner, it doesn't really work that way. Before a prisoner is executed in the US, he or she goes through a long series of appeals and generally waits about 15 years before being executed; many die of other causes first. These prisoners are usually kept separate from the prison population as a whole. They can get into further trouble while in prison, but it won't hasten their execution.


I think this actually means that the state (or to be more precise, the legal authorities) tends to acquire illegal drugs that are available in black markets and from shady sellers in the dark alley of counties like The UK or India (In context). Chemical execution is inexpensive and among all the execution methods available, it is the least messy method. It also assures that death is certain and nobody could escape a chemical execution, once the compound enters the body of the criminal. The authorities, on realizing that these methods are done via illegal procurement of dangerous drugs or chemical, have taken steps to prevent it. They often carry out raids and sudden searches in prisons to prevent such activities.

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