The USA is one of 25 countries in the world where the death penalty was recently carried out.
It can still be used in 32 countries, but not all make use of this right. The main method of execution is the so-called lethal injection – in most states a lethal “cocktail” of three active substances. However, in recent years more and more companies have stopped delivering the necessary active ingredients to US authorities.
Most recently the Pfizer company. The EU has been restricting the export of substances for these poison cocktails since 2011. This mainly applies to sodium thiopental. The substance can be found along with other barbiturates on the so-called anti-torture list of the EU, which, among other things, prohibits the export of certain active substances for torture and executions. The US authorities can no longer legally get the substances for their lethal injections.
In most cases, a triple combination of a narcotic, a muscle relaxant, and potassium chloride, given one after the other, is used.
Barbiturates as anesthetics
In the first step, a narcotic is supposed to make the death row inmate unconscious. The dose is often so high that it can be fatal on its own. Some states only administer this injection.
Barbiturates are mostly used here, especially thiopental. Like all barbiturates, it works by activating the inhibitory GABAA-Receptors in the central nervous system. In low doses, the barbituric acid derivatives only lengthen the binding of the natural ligand, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), in higher doses they also activate the chloride channel themselves. As a result, the excitability of the respective cell is reduced. The effect is dose-dependent, from sedating to hypnotic to narcotic.
The effect of thiopental is quick, but only lasts for a short time (5 to 15 minutes). In anesthesia, thiopental is therefore used as an alternative to propofol for induction of anesthesia. The short duration of action repeatedly led to discussions about the freedom from pain of the lethal injection. Critics complain that the convict may regain consciousness and suffocate in agony on the second component of the deadly mixture, the muscle relaxant. The longer-acting pentobarbital is therefore used to euthanize animals. Since thiopental is no longer allowed to be supplied from Europe for executions, US authorities have increasingly resorted to the related pentobarbital in recent years. The moderately effective barbiturate, which was previously used as a sleeping aid, is no longer used in human medicine today. Euthanasia organizations use it, however. However, pentobarbital is no longer supplied to US prisons by manufacturers either.
Because of the delivery bottlenecks, experiments are being carried out
Propofol is a possible alternative to barbiturates. The agent, which is often used in human medicine due to its good controllability, also works by activating GABA receptors. But here too there are delivery problems. When US authorities announced, in view of the shortage of barbiturates, that they would increasingly use propofol for their executions in the future, the German manufacturer Fresenius restricted US exports of the substance. Propofol has also been included in the anti-torture list for some time.
In order to continue carrying out death sentences, the US authorities are experimenting with poison cocktails, for example from the benzodiazepine midazolam and the opioid hydromorphone. Sometimes with dire consequences. In 2014 the case of Joseph Wood went through the media, whose death throes should have dragged on with this mixture for almost two hours. Previously, in the same year, there had already been two executions in other states, which lasted significantly longer than planned.
Muscle relaxants, the second component
The second component of the lethal injection, as the lethal injection is officially called, is a muscle relaxant. In addition to the skeletal muscles, the substances also paralyze the respiratory muscles. If the convict is conscious, he suffocates painfully. Non-depolarizing muscle relaxants such as pancuronium, vecuronium and tubocurarine as well as suxamethonium, which is one of the depolarizing substances, are used here. The former are competitive antagonists, i.e. they compete with the natural ligand acetylcholine for the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors of the postsynaptic membrane and thus prevent their activation. As a result, the muscles relax. They have no intrinsic effect themselves. Suxamethonium, on the other hand, acts as an agonist on the acetylcholine receptors of the motor endplate. The substance causes permanent depolarization, which also leads to muscle paralysis. In contrast to the non-depolarizing muscle relaxants, the effects of suxamethonium cannot be reversed by cholinesterase inhibitors such as neostigmine.
Finally potassium chloride
Ingredient number three is potassium chloride. High doses lead to cardiac arrest, as extracellular potassium levels above 10 mmol / l reverse the membrane potential. It is then strongly positive. The cell can no longer repolarize after an action potential. Potassium chloride poisoning is difficult to prove in forensic medicine. Because the extracellular potassium concentration increases due to the breakdown of cells after death.
Moralin, scorn and mockery pure
… But doctors in the US are not allowed to pull the lever with the lethal injection, they are sworn to help – never to harm.
It is not the “doctors” who pull the “lever” or open the valve to the lethal syringe – prepared by “doctors”. By the way, is there no way to kill a person humanely and quickly? Yes, there are many options. Why isn’t that done? Because that’s not wanted. Why do you let a person – often innocent – (murderer) first stew for 25 years on death row, often in solitary confinement (torture), to then slowly kill him after 25 years (torture) … Why do you kill people slowly (torture)? That is what is wanted. You don’t want to kill these people quickly. Countless people sentenced to death were and are still being innocently executed – another word for murder.
This is pure morality, mockery and ridicule
In Saudi Arabia it is “doctors” who amputate the limbs of the condemned in stages.
And it is “doctors” who monitor the flogging and determine in which stages the 1,000 lashes are “allowed” to be administered so that the convicted person does not die too quickly. Or not die at all and then live with these physical and mental scars. That is also intentional.
What do you think, why the socialists all over the world demand so ultimately: The power monopoly may only be with the “state” – with the rulers.