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Hidden Suffering: Problems With The United States’ Use Of Lethal Injection

2297 words - 9 pages

Imagine yourself in a vacuum sealed room bound to a gurney by thick leather straps, rendering you captive. In both arms, the executioner positions intravenous catheters connected to tubes that run from you into a wall embedded with a one way window. Hidden behind that window are the syringes containing the serums that will shortly be injected into the saline solution now running through your body, ending the last few minutes of your life. A curtain in front of you is then raised, revealing a crowd of about 20 people quietly sitting in on your execution; these people are family from both sides of your trial as well as selected individuals from the media.
The executioner asks you for your last words and then continues with the fatal process of the execution. A sodium thiopental, an anesthetic, is given to you to render you unconscious in order to void the pain of your death. Due to the inappropriate dose of anesthetic injected, you are not completely under at this point, but so disoriented that you cannot feel pain but are somewhat conscious of what is happening around you. Only assuming that you are unconscious, the executioner administers a muscle relaxant called pancuronium bromide, meant to paralyze your entire body. Now more aware of what’s happening, you feel discomfort spreading with every heartbeat from the injection site. Soon, your futile dose of sodium thiopental is worn off, with the paralyzing agent in full effect. Your veins literally feel like they have been injected with molten lava and this feeling has spread throughout every blood vessel in your entire body. Your diaphragm, along with every other muscle in your body, is paralyzed, making that breath you just took, your last. The lids of your eyes are stuck shut due to this paralyzation; they might as well weigh as much as a bulldozer, because they aren’t going to open. How can I not use “your” so much? You’re desperately trying for anything to show that you are completely conscious of what is going on; any sound, gasp of air, tear, hand movement, even the wiggling of your toes. You can do nothing. HOW DO I CITE THIS INFO? (Harrison & M)
The absolutely life-taking, heart-attack causing, potassium chloride now enters your blood and races to your heart. Literally begging for your life to end, you helplessly suffer a full-scale heart attack while your motionless and expressionless body is being watched by officials, family and media believing you died peacefully. This may seem like a rare horror story of a botched execution, but disgustingly enough, there is much evidence to prove that this is by no means a rare occurrence.
Approaching the means of execution by lethal injection has to be done in the gravest manner possible. The current training which therefore dictates the practices of the executioners administering lethal injection is incredibly flawed. These flaws in lethal injection open up the door for numerous cases like the one listed above and are a clear violation of...

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