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Lethal Injection

In: English and Literature

Submitted By kmart73
Words 1527
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Issues over Lethal Injection On January 16, 2014 an Ohio death row inmate was put to death by lethal injection with an untested drug. After being injected with the drug, the inmate quickly began to choke and gasp for air. This process which appeared to be painful and hard to watch continued for 25 minutes until Dennis McGuire was pronounced dead (Goode). This execution has renewed an old debate on whether this form of capital punishment violates the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution by way of cruel and unusual punishment. Although many people argue that this technique is the most humane form of execution, it has now reached uncharted territories with the use of untested drugs. In this paper I will argue that lethal injections should be brought to a close because of the ineffectiveness of the new and the old drugs being used, for the fact that executioners are inexperienced, and for the reason that untested drugs are used on inmates. Since lethal injection was first introduced to the United States back in 1977, there have been a total of 1176 inmates executed using this method (Death Penalty Statistics). The most common lethal injection procedure, developed by Dr. Jay Chapman, was at best a combination of three drugs: sodium thiopental (a barbiturate that also has anesthesia), pancuronium bromide (relaxes then paralyses the muscles in the body) and potassium chloride (this drug speeds up the heart until it stops) (Clancy, O’Brien 278). Many advocates believe that lethal injection is the most humane form of capital punishment since the combination of drugs allows an inmate to be sedated before he is put to death (276); however, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Critics speculate that we don’t know for sure if the barbiturates create a deep enough unconsciousness to prevent pain or sensation (278). All medical procedures that require a person to be put...

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