Axis of Logic
Finding Clarity in the 21st Century Mediaplex

Death Penalty
Urgent: Missouri execution in 12 hours
By Anthony Romero
Tuesday, Aug 5, 2014

Last week in the fourth botched execution this year alone, Joseph Wood snorted and gasped for air 660 times, as he lay dying on Arizona’s execution table. It took two hours to kill him.

On August 6, Missouri is scheduled to execute
Michael Worthington by lethal injection. How many botched executions before we say no more?

As companies both in the U.S. and in Europe refuse to let the drugs they produce be used in executions, lethal injection has become what is essentially medical experimentation, with novel drugs, unknown doses, and unqualified medical supervision leading to botched execution after botched execution. And to make matters even worse, these lethal experiments are being carried out in secret.

This is why we must call on governors and other decision-makers in states that carry out executions to suspend all scheduled executions until we get real answers.

Our first target for delivery of your signatures will be Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, the man who has the power to make sure we don’t have a fifth botched execution this year. And we won’t stop there.

Transparency from Missouri and the other states would mean full disclosure: the name and manufacturer of the lethal injection drugs, the drugs’ expiration dates and certification that the drugs are FDA approved. We must also be assured that the executioners are medically qualified to administer the drugs.

Let governors and other decision-makers know that we need full transparency and accountability before there is yet another botched execution in our name.

Our constitution explicitly prohibits “cruel and unusual punishment.” How is it possible that, in 2014, state after state is utterly failing at lethal injection? How can it be, given modern scientific advancements, that it could take hours instead of minutes for states to kill someone?

Lethal injection is not modern medicine. Executioners do not have proper training, leading to some prisoners being conscious while they slowly asphyxiate. States are fumbling to find drugs and turning to manufacturers who are not regulated by the FDA. We need to admit that the path to justice simply cannot include more gruesome violence and state secrets.

Urge governors and other decision-makers to stop lethal injection experimentation.

Thank you for taking action,

Anthony Romero for the ACLU Action team

Source: ACLU