Scheduling executions for various states in this country continues to be in flux, primarily due to this continuing problem of having Hospira exit the marketplace as the supplier of sodium thiopental, a necessary component to the three-drug lethal injection method of execution. 

However, the Death Penalty Information Center is doing a fine job of keeping track of things, and not only can you learn the execution schedules for each state during 2011, the DPIC site also provides details behind the varous stays of execution that are popping up everywhere.To check out their latest information, just jump over to the DPIC Execution Schedule webpage.

Six executions have been stayed so far this year — and we’re only six weeks into 2011. 

We should expect more delays, of course.  Again, not just for the usual appellate reasons (challenges to procedure, proof, constitutional violations and the like), but because there remains the problem of how these states are going to kill these folk if they can’t follow their usual lethal injection protocol.

Decisions, Decisions – How to Execute When Facing a Drug Shortage

Sure, they all have alternative methods on the books – but most states are delaying things until the drug issues resolve themselves.  On Death Row, lives are being given more time because states are facing tremendous political and fiscal pressure as each must decide:

And we must all remember that stays of execution are not commuting these death sentences.  No one is getting moved off Death Row.  They are justing getting more time to live.  And, that is something important, isn’t it?