The Department of Corrections made an announcement this afternoon that it will switch from sodium thiopental to pentobarbitol in its lethal injection protocol. This much anticipated decision clears the path for execution dates to be set against Georgia death row prisoners who have run out of appeals, such as Troy Davis.
It is a red herring to tinker with the machinery of death when the entire system is broken. Whether the state uses chemicals, bullets or electricity, the death penalty is inherently cruel and inhuman, and is part of an error-prone system that has sent far too many innocent people to death row. Replacing the supply of sodium thiopental amounts to nothing more than rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
We’ll be monitoring the implications of Georgia’s decision. Check back on this blog for updates or follow me on Twitter @LauraMoye.