This OC Register article comes to us via our friends at the Sentencing Blog. According to the article, seven death row inmates have exhausted their legal recourses and could potentially be executed in the near future. interestingly, the article contains a hint on the focus of anti-death-penalty litigation in the near future:
The state's attempt to execute convicted rapist/murderer Albert Greenwood Brown, Jr., of Riverside – who has been on Death Row since 1982 — failed in September when the CDC's only dose of the lethal-injection drug passed its expiration date. It would have been California's first execution in five years.
Since then, CDC officials have been scrambling to find an additional source of sodium thiopental to get the executions back on track.
Last month, prison officials announced they had secured enough of the powerful drug to carry out four executions, potentially putting the seven killers who have exhausted their appeals at risk.
Opponents of the death penalty, however, are expected to challenge the propriety of how and from whom prison authorities obtained the latest batch of the drug. The CDC has declined to say where it obtained the drug. The only U.S. manufacturer of the drug can't make more because of raw-material supply issue, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Making the source of a chemical the focal point of the death penalty debate is a further step in what I previously referred to as the farcical nature of the entire debate. And yet, it can be a last resort in litigators' scramble to dig up arguments that have not been made yet.