The United States continue to use an untested drug, pentobarbital, in their lethal injection cocktail for execution despite having evidence of painful deaths caused which is also a possible violation of the constitution ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
In the State of Georgia, Roy Blankenship (55) was given animal euthanasia barbiturate to put to death which according to U.S. anaesthesiologist David Waisel, “was inadequately anesthetized and was conscious for approximately the first three minutes of the execution and that he suffered greatly.”
Dr. Waisel cited eyewitness accounts stating that Mr. Blankenship’s eyes “were open throughout” which shouldn’t have occurred after giving the lethal injection.
On June 23, Mr. Blankenship, was executed and he was the first inmate in Georgia who was killed with pentobarbital, also known as Nembutal. Many U.S. states have switched to the drug, commonly used to put to dogs, after the drug earlier used, sodium thiopental, became scarce in the country.
Hospira, the sole company producing sodium thiopental announced last year that it would halt production owing to raw materials concerns. Following this development numerous U.S. attempted to obtain sodium thiopental from other countries such as India and the United Kingdom, though most of sodium thiopental imported was not approved by U.S. Food and Drug. The Drug Enforcement Agency seized some the UK-made drug from prisons in Kentucky and Tennessee earlier this year
in January an Indian generic drug company, Kayem Pharma of Mumbai, managed to export enough sodium thiopental to kill 166 men, to the Nebraska Department of Corrections. South Dakota is believed to possess the Indian-made drug but it is unclear whether these supplies may also be seized by federal authorities.
On June 16, the execution of Eddie Duval in Alabama Powell “show that his behaviour during the process was similar to that of Mr Blankenship, including the jerking of the head and expressions of apparent surprise and discomfort,” according to a statement by Reprieve, a UK-based anti-death penalty campaign group.
Report by Sumit