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Death penalty: Cost of execution drugs -- and executions -- rises
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Thread: Death penalty: Cost of execution drugs -- and executions -- rises

  1. #1
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Death penalty: Cost of execution drugs -- and executions -- rises

    The cost of executions is soaring, especially in the state that conducts the most: Texas. The reason? The necessary drugs have become increasingly hard to get.

    A year ago it cost the Texas Department of Criminal Justice $83.55 for the drugs used to carry out an execution -- sodium thiopental, pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride.

    Then last March the state was forced to replace sodium thiopental with pentobarbital after the U.S. supplier of the former drug halted distribution amid international protests. The same month, two death row inmates sued the state, alleging the decision to switch drugs was made in secret without public input; they called for a federal inquiry.

    Switching to pentobarbital, also known as Nembutal, raised the cost of drugs for each execution to $1,286.86.

    "While the cost of the other two drugs may have gone up, the difference is primarily due to pentobarbital,” Jason Clark, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, told The Times on Friday.

    Further, the Danish manufacturer of pentobarbital, Lundbeck, has announced that the drug is unsafe for use in lethal injections and restricted its sale for executions.

    Texas prison officials say they have enough of the drug to carry out the five executions scheduled this year, but they declined to comment about how much of the drug they have or what they plan to do if supplies run low.

    Prison officials are seeking a ruling from Texas Atty. Gen. Greg Abbott before releasing execution drug records, Clark said.

    “We're not releasing information on our supplier, the amount we paid for specific drugs and the amount of drugs on hand,” Clark said. “The agency is seeking an AG's opinion to keep the information confidential.”

    Last year Texas executed 13 inmates. The next scheduled execution is Feb. 29. George Rivas, 41, is set to die for the murder of a Dallas-area police officer during an armed robbery in 2000.

    The price increase in execution drugs is also being felt in Georgia, Oklahoma, Ohio, Mississippi and South Carolina.

    Oregon purchased $18,000 worth of the drugs last year, but the execution for which they were planned was ultimately called off by the governor -- who said he would approve no others. Corrections officials in other states had hoped they might be able to buy some of the leftover pentobarbital, but Oregon officials said last month that they had returned the drug to a wholesaler.

    The execution drug shortage was highlighted earlier this month in a report in the Guardian about an investigation by the London-based human rights group Reprieve. Maya Foa, with the group’s Stop Lethal Injection Project, estimated the remaining stocks of pentobarbital in Georgia and Texas based on public records.

    Foa calculated that Texas had 27 vials of pentobarbital left. The state needs four vials per execution -- two to inject the prisoner, two as backup -- meaning the state has enough for at least six executions, she estimated.

    She estimated that Georgia had 17 vials of pentobarbital, enough for four executions.

    Reached in London on Friday, Foa declined to comment about the estimates.

    Georgia replaced sodium thiopenthal with pentobarbital in lethal injections last year. A corrections spokeswoman on Friday told The Times that the switch drove up costs, but she could not say by how much. She declined to say how much of the drug the department had on hand.

    "The department has an adequate supply of all pharmaceuticals necessary to carry out any court-ordered execution procedures," spokeswoman Gwendolyn Hogan told The Times.

    She and Clark, the Texas official, declined to comment about Foa's findings, citing security concerns.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/n...,0,49577.story

  2. #2
    Administrator Jan's Avatar
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    Why can't they use the same things as every hospital uses for surgical operations?

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    Administrator Michael's Avatar
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    Sorry for being sarcastic, but using this drugs would be cruel and inhuman. Itīs tactic of the antis to challenge every way to execute a criminal.

    Seriously it seems to be a problem to write a L-I. protocol which is good enough to stand several appeals with drugs normally used to keep people alive.

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    Senior Member Member Diggler's Avatar
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    Seriously.
    I used to work in pharmaceuticals. You can get batches made up that last 5-8 years. Get them from India and the far east. Expense is not a problem as Nembutal for example is from the 40s-50s.

    More to the point whats wrong with a bullet ?
    Worked for the Chinese and the Soviets. Only problem is the effect upon the executioner.
    The death penalty is not for wimps.

    Diggler

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    Administrator Michael's Avatar
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    A bullet canīt be challenged as often as L.I. I donīt understand why some much money is spend to find a execution method which satsifies the preson who should be put to death. F.e. in Swiss they have organizations which help people to commit suicide - i think the same method should be suitable for criminals.

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    Banned TheKindExecutioner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael View Post
    a bullet canīt be challenged as often as l.i. I donīt understand why some much money is spend to find a execution method which satsifies the preson who should be put to death. F.e. In swiss they have organizations which help people to commit suicide - i think the same method should be suitable for criminals.
    amen! Bravo!

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    Member Member SoupDragon's Avatar
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    BBC News - Texas execution: How much is a death worth? http://bbc.in/wcmfG7

  8. #8
    Banned TheKindExecutioner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoupDragon View Post
    BBC News - Texas execution: How much is a death worth? http://bbc.in/wcmfG7
    It takes whatever it takes!

  9. #9
    Member Member SoupDragon's Avatar
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    I agree. Im more a gallows man myself but heck whatever does the job.

  10. #10
    Banned TheKindExecutioner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soupdragon View Post
    i agree. Im more a gallows man myself but heck whatever does the job.
    amen!! Yes!!

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