In a dissent from Monday's Supreme Court ruling that upheld the use of a death penalty drug, Justice Sonia Sotomayor likened the drug to methods of medieval torture, including the burning of heretics at the stake and the slow torturing of people to death. The lethal injection drug that Sotomayor railed against has been used in previous botched executions, including the 2014 execution of Oklahoma death-row inmate Clayton Lockett, which took 43 minutes and saw him writhing in pain. Sotomayor argued that the drug violates the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against "cruel and unusual punishment."
"Under the court's new rule, it would not matter whether the state intended to use midazolam, or instead to have petitioners drawn and quartered, slowly tortured to death, or actually burned at the stake," Sotomayor wrote in her dissent.
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