Lawyer: Botched Executions Should Worry Death Penalty Backers

Monday, 28 Jul 2014 06:46 PM

By Sean Piccoli

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
The drug combination that took almost two hours to kill a condemned murderer in Arizona last Wednesday is a product of death-penalty states scrambling to find and test new lethal-injection drugs, a physician told Newsmax TV on Monday.

"It's trial and error," Atlanta doctor Elaina George told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner and New Jersey criminal defense lawyer Greg Gianforcaro in a panel discussion of the latest botched execution to fan criticism of capital punishment.

Story continues below video.



Note: Watch Newsmax TV now on DIRECTV Ch. 349 and DISH Ch. 223
Get Newsmax TV on your cable system
Click Here Now

Witnesses said Arizona inmate Joseph Rudolph Wood gasped and snorted for an hour and 40 minutes after being injected with midazolam, a sedative, and hydromorphone, a painkiller. His attorney called the execution "bungled."

Wood is the second death-row inmate, after Dennis McGuire in Ohio, to receive that particular drug combination this year — and to take longer than the expected 10 minutes to die while making audible noises.

Corrections officials in both states said the prisoners were unconscious throughout the procedures and were not gasping for air or experiencing pain.

But those executions — and another in Oklahoma using a different drug cocktail that led to violent convulsions in the condemned prisoner, Clayton Lockett — have critics charging they violated the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Gianforcaro, the lawyer, said that even supporters of capital punishment should be concerned because with every botched execution, "all you're doing is giving the anti-death penalty people a real platform to argue that this is not humane."

Death-penalty states historically used three drugs in combination: sodium thiopental, pancuronium bromide and potassium. But in 2011, the manufacturers began refusing to sell those drugs for use in executions.

"So, that's where we are now . . . trying to make something up to get the job done, and that's where the midazolam and the hydromorphone come in," said George.

The issue is what constitutes a dose that is both lethal and humane.

"These are not really drugs designed to be quick in terms of killing somebody," said George. "They're not really used for that in the first place. So, it's really all about type-treating it: changing the doses, trying to make sure you put enough in the patient — or the prisoner, I should say — to do the job. And it can be excruciating.

"Two hours is way too long for something like this," George said.

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Mark Levin: Obama Going 'Full Mussolini' After Midterms

Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 22:57 PM

Conservative radio host Mark Levin has hopes for a Republican takeover of the Senate in two weeks, but he still fears th . . .

Sen. Grassley: Ebola Travel Ban Would Protect Economy

Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 13:52 PM

The nation's economy could be gravely hurt without the enactment of travel restrictions to Ebola-stricken nations to hel . . .

Columnist: Fear of Pot in Kids' Halloween Candy Overblown

Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 20:55 PM

Colorado health officials had to abandon a proposal to prohibit marijuana-laced edible sweets because the state's consti . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved