Where the effect of a drug in a human is not known, the use of a drug in a human, even for execution purposes, should be prohibited - as it can result in torture, in "cruel and unusual punishment" in violation of the 8th Amendment.
Importing a new drug is clearly federally regulated activity under interstate commerce.
While sodium thiopental is reportedly used in European countries for legal voluntary euthanasia, there are clear protocols as to dosages and conditions of administration of sodium thiopental for those purposes.
Moreover, autopsies of prisoners executed in the U.S. reportedly showed that concentrations of thiopental sodium in the bloodsteam of executed prisoners were insufficient to cause unconsciousness.
In other words, prisoners who were executed with the use of thiopental sodium, remained conscious and may have been subjected to torturous deaths, in violation of the 8th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The standoff between the FDA and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is that TDCJ bought and had shipped 1000 vials of thiopental sodium to execute its condemned prisoners, these people who are mostly black and Hispanic.
Even though the Texas Attorney General tried to keep his lawsuit clinical, and not focus on the actual elephant in the room, the issue that the 1000 vials that the FDA held in detention since July of 2015 and ruled, in a preliminary ruling, that the 1000 vials labeled only as "thiopental sodium" and "for law enforcement purposes" are unapproved and mislabeled new drugs - are meant to kill 258 people.
I copied and analyzed the list of Texas death row inmates, and the "clinically sterile" analysis of Texas AG in his lawsuit seeking opportunity to kill off these people as fast as possible started to appear less than sterile.
Here is the gender and race distribution of people on the Texas death row list:
Out of 243 people currently on the Texas death row, there are 6 women and 237 men (2% of death row inmates), 3 white, 2 African American and 1 Hispanic.
Out of 237 men on the Texas death row, there are:
- 1 Asian;
- 105 African American (44% of men);
- 64 Hispanics (27% of men);
- 4 "other";
- 63 whites (27% of men)
- African American - 11.8%;
- Hispanic - 37.6%
- White non-Hispanic - 45.3%.
- African American - 44%;
- Hispanic - 27%; and
- White non-Hispanic - 27%
Yet another problem is sentencing to death, and now trying to kill off, people who, by modern standards of many states, would not be considered mature enough to buy and drink alcohol - a lot of Texas death row inmates are young people between 18 and 21, and a lot are in their 20s.
There are 7 death row inmates in Texas who were condemned to death for committing their crimes at the age of 18:
The two far right columns I added to the Texas table.
In many states (New York one of them), people under 21 are not only not allowed to drink alcohol, but are also considered children for purposes of child support.
Note that, out of 7 18-year-old males condemned to death and still on death row in Texas - whom Ken Paxton pushes to kill off fast,
- only 1 (14%) are white;
- 2 (28%) are Hispanic; and
- the remaining 4 (58%) are black - indicating, if anything, no compassion in likely predominantly white juries to black teenagers, as opposed to white and Hispanic teenagers
Out of 15 19-year-old males (at the time of offense) condemned to death and still on death row in Texas:
|999393||Offender Information||Braziel, Jr.||Alvin||3/16/1975||M||Black||8/9/2001||Dallas||9/21/1993||19||16|
|999423||Offender Information||Davis||Irving||9/17/1982||M||Black||7/18/2002||El Paso||6/4/2001||19||15|
- 1 Asian;
- 2 whites;
- 5 Hispanics, and
- 7 African-Americans
- 1 "other";
- 2 (8%) whites;
- 3 Hispanics and
- 19 (75%) African Americans
- 1 "other";
- 19 whites;
- 22 Hispanics; and
- 37 African Americans
- 2 "others";
- 31 whites;
- 36 Hispanics; and
- 52 blacks
- 4 Hispanics;
- 6 blacks, and
- 9 whites - the only age group where whites outnumber blacks, but still not in the same proportion as they appear in the population
- 1 white and
- 3 blacks
- why it urgently needs 1,000, while it has only 243 death row inmates, and many of them still did not exhaust their appellate process; and
- what will be the procedure and dosage Texas will use for execution - because the procedure and dosage does not appear on the labeling.