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A Glitch In The Justice System

2315 words - 9 pages

In America somewhere, time is ticking slowly away for a criminal that has arrived in a room where he is preparing to take his final breath. He is laid upon a bitter cold gurney and strapped to it by withered straps. As he is laid upon the gurney, he waits for needles to be injected into his arm and the drugs that will pump into his veins will eventually put his body to rest. This punishment that the criminal is about to endure is known as lethal injection which “is the practice of killing a person using a lethal dose of drugs administered intravenously” (Death Penalty). Lethal injection is used as a form of capital punishment to lawfully take "a person's life after conviction for a crime" within the American justice system (Flanders 3). The nation's desire for a more humane way to kill an individual rather than electrocuting him is what lead to the development of lethal injection. The development of lethal injection began in Oklahoma during the 1970’s, and the men behind this innovation were medical examiner Jay Chapman and legislator Bill Wiseman. As of today, there are two methods of lethal injection. The most commonly used method is a three-drug protocol, which involves “the injection of three substances, first, sodium thiopental to induce anesthesia, followed by pancuronium bromide to relax the muscles, and finally potassium chloride to stop the heart” (Motluk). The second method involves the lethal injection of "one large dose of a barbiturate" in the form of anesthetics, sodium thiopental or pentobarbital (Death Penalty). In both cases, medically trained technician inject the drugs in the place of doctors. The first state to use this new form of capital punishment was Texas in 1977. Now thirty-seven states use lethal injection and 1163 convicted felons have died by this method. Lethal injection was invented to be a more humane way to kill those who sentenced to death. The problem is that progressively over the years people have begun to realize that lethal injection is just as inhumane as other methods of capital punishment. Lethal injection is just one of the countless flaws in the American justice system; therefore the practice should be abolished as a punishment.
Lethal injection is a flaw in the judicial system because the practice of it requires a tremendous amount of money to sustain. States spending a copious amount of money on lethal injection, even though it's seldom used, is an example. According to an article that Daniel Nasaw wrote in 2012, the state of "California . . . has spent about $4 bn since 1978 to fund its capital punishment system, but has executed only 13 prisoners [and] in that same period, at least 78 death row inmates died of natural, suicide or other causes while awaiting execution”. This illustrates lethal injection requiring a lot of money because four billion dollars is a profuse amount of money, especially since California rarely uses lethal injection. Furthermore, this is a fault in the justice system...

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