Lethal injection as practiced in Florida creates a substantial and foreseeable risk of pain so extreme as to violate the Eighth Amendment prohibition of cruel punishments.
Execution by lethal injection has some unique problematic features which cannot be overlooked.
Lethal injection is a method of committing an inherently violent and deadly act.
Execution of a condemned prisoner as masquerading as a peaceful and painless medical procedure.
In particular, the use of a paralytic drug serves no legitimate clinical purpose during an execution. In the medical setting, pancuronium bromide is
Code of Ethics E-2.06 (Am. Med. Ass'n. 2000), available at
("A physician, as a member of a profession dedicated to preserving life when there is hope of doing so, should not be a participant in a legally authorized execution.")
Message from Orin F. Guidry, President, Am. Soc'y of Anesthesiologists, Observations Regarding Lethal Injection (June 30, 2006), available at
(stating that the American Society of Anesthesiologists had adopted the American
used legitimately to relax respiratory function to facilitate intubation and to keep the patient still during surgery.
In an execution, the drug simply serves to make the procedure look palatable to witnesses.