We would like to begin this post by noting what it is most certainly not. Namely it is neither an endorsement nor a repudiation of the death penalty. That is one can of worms that we have been happy to avoid in our slightly longer than one year of existence, and intend to keep it that way for now. However, avoiding the death penalty discussion doesn't mean we have to leave the sometimes tortured logic surrounding such cases alone. In one example, which saw party lines toed with gusto on both sides, the dissent, which included Justice Kagan's first vote, wanted to hold up an execution at the eleventh hour because the foreign-made drugs being used might be too dangerous. In this case, foreign-made means England, not necessarily known for its defective drugs, and unsafe drugs mean drugs that are intended to end someone's life.
Most developed countries in the world abhor the death penalty, and view it is a barbaric form of punishment. Many Americans dislike it, and it is not an option in many states. Some of the nations that the US regularly calls out for human rights abuses are among the few states joining the US on the list of death penalty nations. Then again some people think that it is the best possible deterrent there is, that it is the ultimate form of retribution. There is clearly a lot of disagreement on the topic. However, one thing I think all parties can agree on is that the death penalty is going nowhere fast if the best opponents can come up with is that the British-made drugs used to carry out such sentences are unsafe.