Comments: Constitutional Law Scholar and Death Penalty Expert Comments on Daniel Lewis Lee Execution

July 16, 2020
Law Professor Corinna Lain is Currently Writing a Book on Lethal Injection

University of Richmond law professor Corinna Lain is a Constitutional Law scholar with a particular focus on the field of capital punishment. She is currently writing a book on lethal injection, so this is her main area of interest and expertise at the moment.

Lain has been closely following recent high profile executions, including the case of Daniel Lewis Lee. This case garnered national media attention after the Supreme Court cleared the way for the federal death penalty wiping away a lower court order temporarily blocking the execution of Lee.

Lain shared the following insights, specifically related to the lethal injection.

“The concerns of the district court that issued the injunction are dead on,” Lain explained. “Pentobarbital-based executions by lethal injection are inherently, unavoidably problematic because the manufacturers of pentobarbital have all put end-user agreements on its sale to distributors, preventing their sale for lethal injection. As a result of that, the only way to get pento is to get it from a compounding company, and studies show the contamination rate is about 30% percent, in large part because compounding pharmacies don’t have the infrastructure to compound sterile injectables.”

What’s interesting is that Attorney General Barr has said we need to push these executions for the victims — but the victims in this case were against the executions, and they were asking for the stay,” Lain added.

Lain is a sought after expert on the death penalty and lethal injection and has been widely quoted about these topics, including in The Christian Science Monitor article Death penalty with dignity? Supreme Court reopens debate.


Note: Media wishing to connect with Lain as an expert resource can contact Sunni Brown, director of media relations, at