On Thursday night, Billy Ray Irick was finally executed in Tennessee after the US Supreme Court denied to stay his execution request. He was convicted of a rape and murder of a 7-year-old Paula Dyer in 1985. The 59-year-old Irick was in the state inmate to put off his death since 2009. In addition to this, he was also the first one to receive the latest and controversial three-drug cocktail of Tennessee.
This lethal injection was made up of the compounded midazolam that is used to render a person that is unable to feel any sort of pain during an execution. In other words, it is a paralytic drug that is known as vecuronium bromide and was compounded of potassium chloride that acts as a killing agent. The potassium chloride has been described as a substance or chemical that burns at the stake by the US Supreme Court.
There have been many executions that are witnessed with the accounts that have managed to raise a lot of questions where the inmates were anaesthetized enough for the administration of killing. The performance of the drug about Midazolam effectiveness as a sedative in the execution process. Also, as per the Executive Director of the Death Penalty Information Center, Robert Durham, Irick was mentally not stable.
He said, "It's unseemly that Irick would be executed and then the case ultimately gets resolved in his favour,"
The US Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan delayed the request and the noted dissent came up by Justice Sonia Sotomayor. It doesn’t have the details on how the votes on the justices kicked in. the first death penalty case was of Irick’s since Justice Anthony Kennedy retired on 31st July this year that has left the court shorthanded.
Sotomayor wrote in dissent "Although the Midazolam may temporarily render Irick unconscious, the onset of pain and suffocation will rouse him. And it may do so just as the paralysis sets in, too late for him to alert bystanders that his execution has gone horribly (if predictably) wrong,"
It further added, "In refusing to grant Irick a stay, the Court today turns a blind eye to a proven likelihood that the State of Tennessee is on the verge of inflicting several minutes of torturous pain on an inmate in its custody,". " . . . If the law permits this execution to go forward in spite of the horrific final minutes that Irick may well experience, then we have stopped being a civilized nation and accepted barbarism."