Some form of lethal injection is likely to remain the method of execution in much of the U.S., no matter how the Supreme Court rules on current challenges to the procedure, say death penalty experts quoted by the Houston Chronicle. “I don’t think the Supreme Court’s decision is going to herald the end of capital punishment,” said Houston attorney David Dow. Should the court deem as “cruel and unusual” the current three-chemical cocktail administered to death row inmates in Kentucky, where a challenge is pending, Dow said states likely would just adjust the mixture.
Though the lethal injection argument affects nearly every death row case in the country – the number of death row inmates nationally is put at more than 3,330 – the scope of the challenge is narrow, Dow said. Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal will “pursue death penalty cases just like we always have. When the Founding Fathers wrote about cruel and unusual punishment, they were talking about things like drawing and quartering and being tortured to death,” not lethal injection.