Tennessee Sets Another Execution Date With Shortage of Lethal Injection Drug

The state of Tennessee has set yet another execution date. Edward Jerome (E.J.) Haribson now has an execution date of February 15, 2011. You can read more about his case on our website under the “Cases” heading. 

Tennessee has executed only 6 people in the past 50 years and now plans,  within a 4 month period and during a gubernatorial transition, to execute 4 more–Stephen West (November 9), Billy Ray Irick (December 7), Edmund Zagorski (January 11), and E.J. Harbison (February 15).

And, as if the system wasn’t flawed enough, it seems that the state only has enough of the lethal injection drug cocktail for one execution because one of the three drugs is not currently being manufactured. The company that produces the drug said it hopes to have it ready by winter 2011 but has not filled some back orders dating back to February.

If the system is not capable of planning and coordinating these executions that have been in limbo for 20 years, how can we trust that the system is capable of determining whose crimes merit death and whose don’t? How can we trust the system to determine that those who are sentenced to death are actually the most culpable or even the guilty party? 

This most recent gaffe is just one more indication that the death penalty system is broken and needs to be repealed. With less costly and more effective alternatives, such as life without parole, why do we continue to trust a system that clearly doesn’t always get it right? 

Read more. 

Picture provided by JAStacey128

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