Execution Methods in a Nutshell

Authored by: Deborah W. Denno

Routledge Handbook on Capital Punishment

Print publication date:  December  2017
Online publication date:  December  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138651579
eBook ISBN: 9781315624723
Adobe ISBN:


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As the current prevailing method of execution, lethal injection is being subjected to an unprecedented degree of scrutiny. At no other time in this country’s history have doctors or medical organizations been so committed to evaluating a method of execution. Such examination has illuminated the ongoing finger-pointing between law and medicine concerning responsibility for lethal injection’s flaws. Medical societies may have shunned involvement with lethal injection, perhaps at times inappropriately, but physicians contributed to the method’s creation and continue to take part in its application. Both law and medicine turned a blind eye to a procedure about which warnings were blared repeatedly. The problem rests not only with “American society,” but also with the legal and medical communities that are part of it (Denno, 2007, 2014a, b, 2016, 2017).

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