Steven Poole

The power of the poppy

Nothing beats opium for pain relief. But Lucy Inglis prefers to focus on the drug’s undoubted dangers

America has for years been struggling with a shortage of the drugs it uses to execute people, yet it was only in August, in Nebraska, that the first judicial killing using opioids was performed. Aside from moral questions about the death penalty itself, the resistance for so long to this obvious solution denotes a particularly sadistic puritanism, as though it’s an unacceptable risk that even the last moments of a condemned man should be at all pleasant.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles



Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in