"The Supreme Court said states can continue to conduct executions using the sedative midazolam, rejecting claims the drug poses too great a risk that condemned prisoners will suffer excruciating pain.
The 5-4 decision bitterly split the court on Monday. Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the majority, said the prisoners who brought suit failed to suggest an alternative to midazolam. He added the scarcity of more effective sedatives could be traced to the anti-death-penalty movement, which has pressured pharmaceutical manufacturers to stop supplying execution chambers.
Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas joined the majority.
In a dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote that the majority's position left the condemned men 'exposed to what may well be the chemical equivalent of being burned at the stake.' Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan joined the dissent."
The Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta “provides legal representation to people facing the death penalty, challenges human rights violations in prisons and jails, seeks through litigation and advocacy to improve legal representation for poor people accused of crimes, and advocates for criminal justice system reforms on behalf of those affected by the system in the Southern United States.” The center focuses on issues of discrimination in the application of the death penalty. Media inquiries should be directed to Kathryn Hamoudah.
 Death Penalty Information Center, The Death Penalty in 2012: Year End Report, p. 6, Dec. 18, 2012. National Research Council, Deterrence and the Death Penalty, http:///?record_id=13363, 2012.
 American Samoa Government, Gov. Togiola wants to repeal the death penalty; law has no method of execution and not the right thing to do, http:////news-bottom/163-gov-togiola-wants-to-repeal-the-death-penalty-law-has-no-method-of-execution-and-not-the-right-thing-to-do, Jul. 10, 2012.