The controversy comes over the difficulty in gaining access to the drugs needed to make the lethal injection method work in the least tortuous way possible. Political activists have tried, with some success, to pressure manufacturers of those drugs not to sell to jurisdictions that permit capital punishment. This has delayed one scheduled execution in Louisiana at least a year, where now the earliest it could happen would be the latter half of this year.
As state law permits only lethal injection, like Utah, which faced the same difficulty, Louisiana would have to make a change. Last year, an idea for legislation was floated to provide for alternative methods of carrying out a capital sentence, and it actually got far long in the process until its author state Rep. Joe Lopinto abruptly shelved it in favor of a study resolution for the Department of Corrections. That study presented an alternative heretofore untried, essentially inducing hypoxia, but Lopinto said of the fiscal-only session upcoming, with its restrictions on the number of non-fiscal bills that can be introduced, this doesn’t leave him room to go with any recommendation.