I was surprised by something that Justice Stevens wrote in his opinion in the Supreme Court's recent decision to uphold the lethal injection execution procedure of the state of Kentucky. By way of background, you need to know that the ruling relates, again, to the state of Kentucky and that pancuronium bromide is one of the drugs used in executions there. Stevens wrote:
"Because it masks any outward sign of distress, pancuronium bromide creates a risk that the inmate will suffer excruciating pain before deathA friend of mine asked a great question: "What happens if a pit bull gets put on death row?"
occurs. There is a general understanding among veterinarians that the risk of pain is sufficiently serious that the use of the drug should be proscribed when
an animal’s life is being terminated. As a result of this understanding among knowledgeable professionals, several States—including Kentucky—have enacted legislation prohibiting use of the drug in animal euthanasia. It is unseemly—to say the least—that Kentucky may well kill petitioners using a drug that it would not permit to be used on their pets."