Random Liberals

We are random liberals (who knew?). Collectively, we make up the greatest blog in the history of ourselves. We will blog about anything that suits us; mostly politics, with a little bit of religion and randomness to make the blog exciting.


Monday, February 23, 2004

Death penalty

According to this article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, there is a major challenge in the works over lethal injections. Several people sentenced to die in the next year have claimed that one of the three chemicals used in lethal injections, pancuronium bromide, can cause major suffering for the person it is used on, but no one would know, because it is a paralysing muscle relaxant, and therefore would leave render the inmate unable to scream or show signs of suffering.

During a lethal injection, a prisoner is given three drugs. The first is sodium thiopental, a powerful anesthetic which is supposed to induce unconciousness and leave the recipient unable to feel pain. The second is pancuronium bromide, which as I mentioned earlier, is a super-powerful muscle relaxer. It's design is to paralyze the lungs and diapragm, making the prisoner suffocate. The third is potassium chloride, which stops the heart. If all goes well, and the deadly chemicals are introduced very soon after the anesthetic, then the inmate simply drifts away. The problem is that there is the very real possibility that the anesthetic wears off before the prisoner is dead. This means that the person being killed is fully aware of his suffocation and chest pains, which soon become incredibly fierce. However, witnesses to the execution would not know that the prisoner is feeling excruciating pain, because the muscle relaxant paralyzes all muscles, meaning that he cannot contort his face, nor can he speak. This is the epitome of torture, because no one other than the inmate knows what is going on.

I will conclude by saying that, according to the article, the use of pancuronium bromide has been banned for the use of euthenizing pets. Now, maybe it's just me, but I figure that if it cannot be used for killing cats, there's no way in hell that it should be used for killing people.



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