Late Thursday night, Christopher Lee Price was executed in Alabama.
His execution was surrounded by controversy, compounded by the fact that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer indicated that he may want to begin a process that could end the death penalty for good.
Christopher Price was executed for the murder of an Alabama minister. For almost three decades, the case has been stuck in the courts with appeals and objections.
Price’s final appeal went to the Supreme Court arguing against the method of execution. According to Price’s attorney, lethal injection would cause excruciating pain. Conveniently, that happens to be the method Alabama uses to carry out its executions.
Instead, Price wanted to be executed using nitrogen hypoxia, more commonly referred to as the gas chamber.
The Supreme Court dismissed his challenge with a vote of 5-4. Among the dissenters was Justice Breyer.
Time to Look at Death Penalty
Price, according to officials, during his last moment, stated, “A man is much more than his worst mistake.”
Those words no doubt hit a nerve with Breyer, as he stated the death penalty as a whole needs to be examined again very seriously. Breyer also attacked his fellow justices for the manner in which they handled this case.
He stated, “To the extent the court’s failure to issue a timely order was attributable to our own dallying, such delay both rewards gamesmanship and threatens to make last-minute stay applications the norm instead of the exception.”
Breyer further stated, “To proceed in this way calls into question the basic principles of fairness that should underlie our criminal justice system.”
The makeup of the court has been proven to be controversial but not for the reasons most liberals expected.
Several of the “conservative” justices have already sided with liberals on some major cases, so Breyer may believe this to be the best chance liberals will have to outlaw the death penalty altogether.