Lethal injection

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A corrections officer preparing for a lethal injection.

Lethal injection is a method of execution used in capital punishment. The usual procedure for lethal injection involves strapping a prisoner down to a gurney-style bed. Two sets of intravenous tubes are inserted into each of the prisoner's arms. A typical lethal injection will include three drugs:

Lethal injection was first used on December 7, 1982, when Charlie Brooks was executed in Texas.[1]

Death by lethal injection has not traditionally been believed to be painful as the inmate will lose consciousness prior to the death-inducing drugs being pumped in their veins. Recent medical findings, however, have called this into question.[2] In September, 2007, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case over whether Kentucky's three-drug lethal injection cocktail violates the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution by constituting cruel and unusual punishment.[3] Several other states have postponed all executions until this case is resolved, although Texas, which executes far more criminals than any other state, has not placed a moratorium on executions.[4]

Lethal injection is the preferred method for executions in the United States. It has also been used in China, Guatemala and the Philippines.[5]


  1. http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/stat/drowfacts.htm
  2. http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/264/story/19957.html
  3. Supreme Court to Hear Case on Constitutionality of Lethal Injection, Lee Ross, Fox News Channel, January 06, 2008
  4. http://www.christianpost.com/article/20070930/29513_Is_Lethal_Injection_'Cruel_and_Unusual'%3F.htm
  5. http://www.richard.clark32.btinternet.co.uk/injection.html