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Lethal Injection too Painful?

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posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 12:05 PM

Justice Stephen Breyer said that a medical journal study found that inmates can suffer pain under the three-drug combination and it "doesn't seem too difficult" to alter the medicines.

So they are talking of granting inmates the right to file an appeal on behalf of the drugs that are using to initiate a heart attack. If this process is not slow enough already, this is just purposterous. These individuals are on death row for a reason, they lost the right to stake this claim. I could see if they were talking of a hanging or firing squad, but you are being put to sleep basically.

Justice Antonin Scalia said that if justices allow Florida death row inmate Clarence Hill to pursue claims, that could drag out a case that has already been pending for more than two decades.

Hill, convicted of killing a police officer, was strapped to a gurney with lines running into his arms to deliver the drugs when the Supreme Court in January intervened and blocked the execution.

He claims that the chemicals used in Florida executions and by many other states -- sodium pentothal, pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride -- can cause excruciating pain. The first drug is a pain killer. The second one paralyzes the inmate and the third causes a fatal heart attack.

This man kills a cop over twenty years ago and has sit in a jail cell ever since. The moment the family finally may recieve some closure on the situation, the government intervenes and says this is not humane. Oddly enough I am not a fan of capital punishment, so maybe this is a contradiction here in my own mind but I find it mind boggling how a man who has convicted these crimes can say the method inwhich they are being executed is too painful.

This is simply a plot to lengthen a process that is already too long. Every day people talk over this, is a day that the inmate should not beable to taste the fresh air he/she has denied somebody else.

[edit on 26-4-2006 by chissler]

posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 12:33 PM
I can understand your frustration, but the procedure used in Florida doesn't even meet minumum veterinary standards. That seems just a little disturbing. If we couldn't put a pet down using this combo, why should we be using it on people?

The ideal solution would be to alter the chemicals used, then this argument would no longer be valid and Florida could happily continue to kill people.

PDF of the legal brief on the Hill challenge Clarence Hill brief - PDF

posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 02:14 PM
Not able to view the .pdf now, but when I get home I'll have a look through it. Deffinately interested to see what I can find in there. Thank you for the link.

What chemicals are currently being used in Florida?

If the first chemical is a pain killer, and the rest is used to shut down your system how can they be feeling such discomfort?

posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 02:22 PM
Why not give those on deathrow and destined to die a choice in their own manner of execution?

Maybe they could volunteer to be test-subjects for the army? There's a helluva big bang planned in Nevada in a few weeks time, why not go with a *BOOM* instead of a whimper

posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 02:27 PM
If putting certain chemicals into the human body in order to put them to sleep is inhumane, then strapping explosives to them or using them as guinea pigs for tests is off the charts.

posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 04:35 PM
While any state-sanctioned execution can be said to be inhumane, regardless of method, perhaps those who are due to be executed could have the option to volunteer their lives/deaths in the name of the advancement of science and medicine. As long as the consent to the method of their demise is voluntary, then it could be some way to redeem themselves to the benefit of others

posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 04:51 PM
I actually think thats a good idea. However I don't see live testing being appropriate, however leaving their body to science is always an option. But then again that is an option to all of us really.

Regardless of what we do while here on Earth, our bodies have the right to be respected after we are gone so it should always be the individual's choice. I would like to think most convicts on death row are spending their last days trying to come to peace with themselves and whatever god they percieve. So maybe that is something they would want to venture.

posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 06:04 PM
Here's a little something outlining the problems with lethal injections, with some bolding by me.

Death row inmates have been making Eighth Amendment challenges to lethal injection since 1978. Courts have rejected broad challenges to the constitutionality of lethal injection, as well as claims against specific execution practices, such as the failure to use medical doctors, failure to adequately specify the execution protocol, use of the cut-down procedure to expose a viable vein for injection, and the choice of lethal drugs. New challenges to the lethal cocktail, however, have been bolstered by a growing body of evidence that many prisoners were probably conscious and subject to excruciating pain during their executions, contrary to the claims of state governments and in violation of their right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment.


Toxicology data from post-execution autopsies, however, shows that in many cases the full dose of sodium thiopental is not getting into the condemned’s bloodstream. Edward Harper was executed in Kentucky in 1999, when Kentucky’s protocol called for two grams of sodium thiopental. (Kentucky recently went to three grams, as a direct response to the pending suit by Bowling and Baze.) Blood analysis showed that Harper had a concentrations of 6.5 milligrams per liter of the barbiturate in a sample drawn from his heart. At such levels a person would have a 67 percent chance of being conscious, according to the data of Dr. Mark Dershwitz, an University of Massachusetts professor of anesthesiology who has testified numerous times on behalf of state governments in similar lethal injection challenges. Blood drawn from elsewhere in Harper’s body showed concentrations of only 3 milligrams per liter, giving a 100 percent chance of consciousness.


The district court denied the motion for preliminary injunction and the Ninth Circuit affirmed (Beardslee v. Woodford, 2005 WL 120140 (9th Cir. 2005)), agreeing that Beardslee had not shown a sufficient likelihood that administration of the sodium thiopental would be improper in his case. The court did admit that the execution log evidence presented by Beardslee, coupled with Heath’s opinions, raised “extremely troubling questions about the protocol,” and was likewise troubled by the state’s complete lack of justification for the use of pancuronium bromide, leaving unchallenged Beardslee’s assertion that it served no purpose other than to hide from observers the agonies of those still conscious.

Taken from National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. I suppose they are not a completely objective group, but I chose this particular article because it hits the highlights of the problem with the lethal injection cocktail some states use.

[edit on 26-4-2006 by Duzey]

posted on Apr, 27 2006 @ 02:28 PM
I couldnt agree more, Chissler. These peopla re being killed for a reason, it should be as slow and painful as possible. also, i thaught this was funny. law requires prisons to use a fresh clean needle for every lethal injection, for protection against disease.

posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 11:32 AM
How 'bout if we end a bunch of arguments and simply stop executing humans?

posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 11:46 AM
NotClever to be honest with this subject, I am alittle confused with myself.

I find myself in one hand against capital punishment, but then on the other hand I am thinking if the guy really is guilty and has heinously murdered innocent lives, then I feel he should have the luxury of breathing another breath of air. My problem is when I hear of a man on death row all of the sudden proving his innocence, a life time sentence can be overturned. The death penalty is alittle more permenant.

But after reading the story on this Hill man, I thought why should this man have the right to appeal what chemicals are being used to send him to his grave. The police officer he murdered, did he have the right to choose what bullet was going to enter his body? No, his fate was chosen and it was carried out without his consent. Why can the convict consent to his death, while the victim simply was given his.

So I am proclaiming myself a fence sitter on this subject, one side tells me no, while the other side is screaming justice.

Personally, If I was the family of the victim and I seen them stopping the procedure and giving this man another breath of air. I would of been probably through the window after him and those who stopped the execution.

I believe I would not be alone in this either.

posted on Apr, 29 2006 @ 06:26 PM

I thinks its impossible for any 'thinking' 'human' to be purely on one side of this issue.

In my case, it was the realization that one innocent person sitting on deathrow completely invalidated the practice of vengeance ('Cause that's really what it is, revenge). And from a more pragmatic point of view, it's actually more expensive to go through the process of a death sentence than it is to simply lock the criminal in a cell, feed them, care for them, and leave them there until they die naturally. Many people don't consider the cost of the court, judges, clerks, time to research, etc., through the appeals process.

On the other hand...if you were to harm my wife, sister, mother, brother, etc., I will have trouble approaching your punishment from an equally logical viewpoint. In fact, I may argue for the privilege of shooting you myself. ("You" is not actually meant to mean you...just as a literary device).

posted on May, 3 2006 @ 10:52 AM
Yesterday in Ohio:


Spokeswoman Andrea Dean said the execution was delayed about 90 minutes because technicians had trouble initially finding a site in Clark's arm for the intravenous line carrying the chemicals.

Then shortly after the poisons were supposed to have been pumping into his body, she said, he sat up saying, "It's not working. It's not working."

Officials determined that a vein had collapsed. Curtains were closed to block witnesses' view until technicians found a vein in his other arm. They were then parted to reveal him dying, witnesses said.

I am pro-death penalty to the point where I would be a witness to an execution or even push the button to conduct an execution, but I think I would have soiled my jeans if I saw that guy "sit up" when he should have been well on his way into death.

I understand how and why veins collapse so I am not saying that there was negligence with this, just that it would have make me pretty jumpy for a couple minutes.


posted on May, 3 2006 @ 11:06 AM
Im not a scholar on this, but aren't you strapped down? How could he of simply sat up? Seems some people may try to maneuver as they are about to be executed, so to prevent this they should be strapped.

Still though I see problems with that.

I watched Life of David Gale again the other night, amazing movie. Anybody who has any strong opinions on capital punishment, pro or con, should really check this movie out.

The stance it takes on Capital punishment is loud, however both sides will appreciate this movie.

[edit on 3-5-2006 by chissler]

posted on May, 3 2006 @ 11:25 AM
Chissler -


When this method is used, the condemned person is usually bound to a gurney and a member of the execution team positions several heart monitors on this skin.

Many prisoners have damaged veins resulting from intravenous drug use and it is sometimes difficult to find a usable vein, resulting in long delays while the inmate remains strapped to the gurney.

So Yeah, they are restrained to the table. I don't think their use of "sat up" means that he actually rose to a sitting position on the table. I don't think that their chest is strapped down so an inmate would be able to lift himself a few inches off the table and still have his lower body and his arms strapped down.



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