Executions by Lethal Injection May Not Be Painless

I read this article regarding execution by Lethal Injection and it gave me some food for thought. Before I provide my comments let me share a section of it.

THURSDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) — Prisoner executions by lethal injection in the United States may not be painless or humane, and may not even meet veterinary standards for putting down animals.

So claims a research letter in this week’s issue of The Lancet.

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.”

To be honest, I am not sure how much this bothers me because there is a reason that these people received the death penalty. Often if is because they committed brutal, horrific and heinous crimes, so a part of me thinks that is fitting that they suffer like their victims did.

On the other hand stooping to their level is not impressive nor does it really help our own humanity. We probably should fix this, there are limits to punishment, even when we are discussing the death penalty.

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