Written by Eric W.
Modern executions have been developed in countries in an effort to make them more humane. In the United States the current method of execution practiced is lethal injection. The process of lethal injection utilizes three drugs. The first injection administered is a solution of sodium thiopental, an anesthetic intended to decrease awareness and eliminate feeling. The next chemical, pancuronium bromide causes paralysis and halts respiration. To complete the process potassium chloride is injected and stops the heart from beating.
There are many problems inherent in the use of lethal injection. Primarily due to the nature of the chemical cocktail used, executions can cause excruciating pain to the prisoner. Many people have varied reactions to these drugs, and there is no way to predict how the chemicals will affect an individual. There also exists the possibility that the mixtures of the injected drugs are not correct. In this situation the prisoner may fully be aware and therefore subject to the horrific pain caused by the potassium chloride as it stops their beating heart. On top of this they are unable to convey this pain, as the pancuronium bromide has paralyzed them. This process is used in modern prisons for executions, yet in many places has been banned for use in euthanasia of animals. Cases have been reported in which prisoners were observed wincing, gasping, and shaking violently.
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