4. 31 states of confusion

It turns out there is no hypocrisy in the Hippocratic Oath. While frequently associated with physicians, pharmaceutical companies have vowed not to sell or administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so. Since 1976, when the death penalty was reinstated, 88% of executions have been by lethal injection—in the form of a combination of medications that otherwise have life-saving purposes. Drug innovators have now cut the supply. With Pfizer’s announcement last week, all FDA approved manufacturers have blocked the sale of their drugs for use in executions. What will the 31 states hooked on the death penalty do? They’ll have to turn to the black market for their drugs.