Anything But Humane

The search for a "humane" way of killing people should be seen for what it is -- a search to make executions more palatable to those carrying out and witnessing the killing. This includes the governments that wish to appear humane and the public in whose name the killing is carried out.

Lethal injection can cause excruciating pain. Since the first lethal injection on December 7, 1982, over 1,000 prisoners in the USA have been executed by this method and it has all but replaced other methods of execution.

In the USA, a number of lethal injection executions have been botched. Some executions have lasted between 20 minutes to over an hour and prisoners have been seen gasping for air, grimacing and convulsing during executions. Autopsies have shown severe, foot long chemical burns to the skin and needles have been found in soft tissue.

Lethal injection was designed to prevent many of the disturbing images associated with other forms of execution. However, lethal injection increases the risk that medical personnel will be involved in killing for the state, in breach of long-standing principles of medical ethics.

Virtually all codes of professional ethics which consider the death penalty oppose health professional participation. Despite this, health professionals are required by law in many death penalty states to assist executions and in some cases have carried out the killings.

Lethal Injection Updates
Blog
It’s time to stop turning a blind eye. Missouri’s refusal to stop the execution of Russell Bucklew proves just how cruel the death penalty is and why it must come to an end.
News
A federal appeals court has issued a stay of execution in Texas of a man with severe mental illness who was scheduled to be put to death this evening.
Report
Despite the setbacks in 2013, there has been a steady decline in the number of countries using the death penalty over the last 20 years, and there was progress in all regions last year.