Document Type


Publication Date



Eighth Amendment, cruel and unusual punishment, execution, capital punishment, lethal injection


After capital punishment opponents’ pressure on drug suppliers reduced the lethal injection drug supply, Oklahoma began using midazolam, resulting in botched executions. Condemned inmates sought to stop use of this lethal injection protocol. In Glossip v. Gross, the U.S. Supreme Court found inmates failed to establish such protocols entail a substantial risk of severe pain compared to available alternatives, undermining the supply side attack strategy and leaving inmates facing the possibility of an unnecessarily painful execution. This article places the Glossip decision within the context of method of execution jurisprudence and discusses implications for the ongoing battle over capital punishment.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



Rowe, B. I. (2018). How would you like to die? Glossip v. Gross deals blow to abolitionists. The Prison Journal, 98(1), 83-103.

The final, definitive version is available at

Brenda I. Rowe, How would you like to die? Glossip v. Gross deals blow to abolitionists, The Prison Journal, 98(1), pp. 83-103. Copyright © 2017 SAGE Publications. DOI: 10.1177/0032885517743716