The massive pharmaceutical company Pfizer has taken immediate steps to stop the use of any of their drugs to assist or enable governments to kill people who have been condemned under death penalty statutes. The decision effectively plugs the death serum pipeline to death row facilities across the nation. States will still have the option to use alternative death penalty processes such as electricity, hanging and bullets. Pfizer followed the lead of at least 20 other drug manufacturers who halted the use of their products for executions.
The use of lethal injection sparked major controversy after it became apparent that the injections caused unnecessary pain, twitching, bleeding and suffering in some cases. The gruesome practice was likened to burning someone at the stake, according to at least one Supreme Court Justice.
David B. Muhlhausen, an expert on criminal justice at the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank, with ties to the Koch brothers, has said for a long time that the death penalty deters crime even though all credible scientific evidence proves that it does not. Moreover, states without the death penalty have much lower murder rates. We applaud the Board of Directors at these drug companies for choosing this route. Now and then, even pill makers do the right thing, although these corporate leaders must have felt the moral burn emanating from the botched executions caused by their products.