Lethal Injection under Scrutiny is it Unjust

For some time governments have deemed certan crimes punishbale by death. The death penalty is considered by many to be the ultimate form of punishment for those who have committed society’s most heinous crimes, including rape and murder. As times have changed, so have the methods of execution.Lethal injection is becoming the most commonly used form of capital punishment. Based on the facts and statistics I do not see anything wrong. I have read of only one botched execution. There is much of debate over this. So is lethal injection unjust? No. Read on, and you will see why.

How Lethal Injection Works:

 A drug known as Sodium thiopental (Pentothal), puts the inmate into a deep sleep. This drug is a barbiturate, that induces general anesthesia when administered intravenously. It can reach effective clinical concentrations in the brain within 30 seconds, according to an Amnesty International report. For surgical operations, patients are given a dose of 100 to 150 milligrams over a period of 10 to 15 seconds. For executions, as many as 5 grams (5,000 mg) of Pentothal may be administered. This in itself is a lethal dose. It’s believed by some that after this anesthetic is delivered, the inmate doesn’t feel anything. The IV is then flushed with Saline.

Paralyzing agent – Pancuronium bromide, also known as Pavulon, is a muscle relaxant that is given in a dose that stops breathing by paralyzing the diaphragm and lungs. Conventionally, this drug takes effect in one to three minutes after being injected. In many states, this drug is given in doses of up to 100 milligrams, a much higher dose than is used in surgical operations – usually 40 to 100 micrograms per one kilogram of body weight. IV is flushed with Saline.

Toxic agent (not used by all states) – Potassium chloride is given at a lethal dose in order to interrupt the electrical signaling essential to heart functions. This induces cardiac arrest.

A look into the problem:

In one incident, things did not go as planned. Lethal Injection is under scrutiny because of a botched execution, in which it took 34 minutes and a second injection to kill convicted murderer, Angel Nieves Diaz. A state medical examiner said that needles used to carry the poison, had passed through the prisoner’s veins and delivered the three-chemical mix into the tissues of his arm. Diaz’s death took more than twice as long as most executions in Florida, where death generally occurs within 15 minutes. More than 20 minutes after the first injection, Diaz appeared to be mouthing words, clenching his jaw and grimacing. A second dose was administered. In California, a federal judge ruled that the state must overhaul its lethal-injection procedures, calling its current protocol unconstitutional because it may inflict unacceptable levels of pain. Northern California ordered the state to revise its procedures and consider eliminating the use of two drugs: pancuronium bromide, which causes paralysis, and potassium chloride, which causes cardiac arrest. In some cases the anesthetic can wear off before death. This could happen in a number of ways. The executioner could inaccurately calculate the dosage needed for an inmate of a given body weight, or the executioner could fail to administer the full amount, mix the drug improperly, or wait too long between giving the anesthesia and the lethal substance. Officials are blaming it on poorly trained executioners, but how is anyone really to know how unjust it is when the prisoner is paralyzed, unable to cry or scream. Witnesses say they saw Diaz grimace (when you grimace are you not in pain?)but a state panel was unable to determine if Diaz had been properly sedated or if he felt pain since he did not specifically say he was suffering.

No execution is nice. Some believe that whoever would commit such a heinous crime, should be put down painfully or not. No matter how much grief or anger someone has for the prisoner, we must remember the Eighth Amendment and its prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. I believe inmates are scared because of the botched execution of Diaz. I don’t feel the injection should be under scrutiny I feel the pervasive lack of professionalism in the executions should be scrutinized. Many factors go into injecting medicine. Weight, height etc. Are executioners really properly trained for all of this? Murder, torture and rape are unjust. Putting someone to death who commited these crimes, is justice.