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Capital Punishment in the US
The current state-of-the-art method of execution is lethal injection, first adopted by Oklahoma in 1977 and now the preferred method in twenty-two states.(ZIM). In most cases, a combination of drugs -- potassium to stop the heart, another drug to paralyze the breathing muscles, and a sedative -- is fed intravenously into the arms of the condemned, who is strapped to a stretcher.(ZIM)
Most authorities believe that if done properly, lethal injection is the least painful of all the other ways. However, there can be some extreme pain if the chemicals are accidently injected into muscle tissue instead of the veins, or if the chemicals are given to him in the wrong order.(ECE)
Many lethal-injection executions have taken place in Texas, leaving the victims thrashing and wriggling about in pain. The injection is slow, sometimes it takes about an hour from the insertion of the drug until death. In Mr. Gacy's case, after a dose of anesthetic had made him go unconscious, the prison officials had to replace the tube in his arm because a clog had stopped the entry of the lethal drugs.(ECE)
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