This morning the Supreme Court ruled against three Oklahoma death row inmates who hoped an execution drug that risks causing severe pain would be banned. The drug in question, midasolam, is a sedative used to render inmates unconscious before they are injected with two lethal drugs that cause an agonizing death.

In three cases last year, the midasolam didn't work properly, causing one inmate to wake up during the execution procedure writhing and moaning, and another inmate to choke and gasp for an extended period of time.

Lawyers for the three Oklahoma inmates argued that midasolam does not consistently induce unconsciousness, even if properly administered. The Supreme court ruled 5-to-4 against the inmates' plea, who will inevitably face an execution sedated by midasolam.

Cover image: Flickr