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Injection Inertia

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The Tennessean has this article on Gov. Bredesen's opposition to a proposal to change lethal injection from the three-drug method presently under attack in Baze v. Rees to a one-drug method similar to that used by veterinarians. His position, in essence, is that any change from an established method triggers many years of litigation. In other words, the hyperlitigiousness surrounding the death penalty and the willingness of some courts to accept flimsy reasons for stopping executions actually operate to preserve a method that the opponents say is cruel.

"While some Tennessee lawmakers and death penalty advocates were pushing for the state to go ahead with a one-drug protocol to continue with executions, most are waiting to see what the nation's high court will decide" in Baze.

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We are confronted with the relentless logic of the the Zenmaster in Charlie Wilson's War--the rule of "We'll see" will prevail no matter how this controversy is resolved.

If a strong majority of the high court strongly rejects the challenger's premise that the 8th Amendment mandates zero risk and zero pain, the room for the challengers to continue horsing around will shrink from a large pasture to a small paddock.

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