posted on Apr, 14 2005 @ 11:42 AM
Prisoner executions by lethal injection in the United States may not be painless or humane, and may not even meet veterinary standards for putting
The authors concluded that prisoners executed by lethal injection may have experienced awareness and unnecessary suffering as they died because they
weren't properly sedated. Anesthesia during lethal injection is essential to minimize the prisoner's suffering.
Lethal injection involves sequential administration of sodium thiopental for anesthesia, pancuronium bromide to induce paralysis, and then potassium
chloride to stop the heart and cause death. If anesthesia wasn't used, the condemned prisoner would suffocate and experience excruciating pain
without being able to move.
Researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine analyzed execution protocol information from Texas and Virginia, which account for
about 45 percent of executions in the United States. They found that executioners had no training in anesthesia; the drugs were administered remotely
with no monitoring of the anesthesia; and there was no data collection, no documentation of anesthesia, and no post-procedure peer review.
The authors also analyzed toxicology reports from 49 prisoners executed in Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. In 43 of the 49 cases,
the authors found blood concentrations of the anesthetic sodium thiopental were lower than that required for surgery. In 21 cases, the concentrations
were low enough to be consistent with awareness on the part of the prisoner during execution.
... I'll be the first to admit that I don't really care one way or another if those condemed to death feel pain or not, but I do care if the law
says that there should be a certain procedure followed...