Death Penalty-Dilemma

What’s a death penalty state to do? Beginning sometime in the spring of 2012, Ohio faces three options, none of them ideal, as it runs out of pentobarbital, the drug it currently uses to put condemned inmates to death. The most palatable of the three is simply switching to another powerful anesthetic that will put someone to death when administered in a strong enough dose. Despite lawsuits questioning whether Ohio’s executioners have the skill to nsert IVs properly, this method has worked fairly well since its adoption in December 2009 (the drug was different then but the concept the same). But there’s a problem here, since one of the logical successors, propofol, is also in short supply right now. That leads to the second option: obtaining the powdered supply of pentobarbital, otherwise known as the version vets use to put animals to sleep. The upside is the drug’s availability and presumed effectiveness, the downside is the baggage of using an animal euthanasia drug on humans. The third and final option is already spelled out in the state’s new execution rules. Under that choice, Ohio would start using its backup method as the primary procedure. That would mean injecting two drugs, a sedative and a painkiller, directly into an inmate’s muscles. The catch, and it’s a big one: this type of intramuscular injection-execution has never been tried before, and the state has already acknowledged it could cause convulsions and vomiting. None of them perfect, it’s a trio of difficult choices facing a certain reality: the state is compelled by law to execute inmates under sentence of death, and more and more of those inmates are running out of appeals. Ohio-Supreme-Court-sets-2-execution-dates-for-2013-2140728.php

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