South Carolina faces execution impasse

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South Carolina faces execution impasse

Post by MKSheppard » 2017-11-23 07:58pm

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(CNN)South Carolina lacks the drugs it needs to execute a death row inmate, who was scheduled to die on December 1.

The inmate, Bobby Wayne Stone had been convicted of killing a police officer, Sgt. Charlie Kubala in 1997. As the execution looked unlikely to happen next week, Stone was granted a stay of execution by a US district judge on Tuesday.

South Carolina lacks three drugs: pentobarbital, pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride. The first (pentobarbital) puts the prisoner to sleep, the second (pancuronium bromide) brings on paralysis, and the final agent (potassium chloride) stops the heart.

"All of those drugs are expired or we're unable to get them and we've returned them to the manufacturer because they have been expired," said Bryan Stirling, director of the states Department of Corrections in a Monday press briefing.
Drugs used for lethal injection have become harder to get as manufacturers don't want their products used in executions.

"The reason we don't have the drugs, despite intense efforts to get them is because the companies that make them, the distributors who distribute them and the pharmacists that may have to compound them don't want to be identified," said South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster.
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Re: South Carolina faces execution impasse

Post by Simon_Jester » 2017-11-23 10:02pm

They can choose a method of execution that requires the participation of medical professionals. They just can't make the medical professionals like it, you see?
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Re: South Carolina faces execution impasse

Post by Korto » 2017-11-25 07:11am

I don't object to capital punishment in principal, but I do object to the way each nation I'm aware of has carried it out (mainly the mixed results in the convicted actually being guilty), so I suppose I object in practise.

That being said, if they can't come up with a simple, reliable way to kill someone, maybe they should just read this site? We had this converation some time ago. I believe nitrogen narcosis got the nod, but some good things can also be said about inert gas asphyxiation.
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Re: South Carolina faces execution impasse

Post by Zaune » 2017-11-25 07:34am

A bullet in the head usually works as well, if you don't mind needing a mop and bucket afterwards.
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Re: South Carolina faces execution impasse

Post by Crazedwraith » 2017-11-25 07:48am

Zaune wrote:
2017-11-25 07:34am
A bullet in the head usually works as well, if you don't mind needing a mop and bucket afterwards.
And the need to find a sufficiently willing executioner. IIRC a lot of execution methods are designs to removed the operators a few steps from the actual killin'.
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Re: South Carolina faces execution impasse

Post by Broomstick » 2017-11-25 09:50am

Yes, it turns out most people don't actually want to kill other people, even very bad people.

Properly done (that is the key - properly done) hanging, guillotine, and bullets are quick and effective and avoid the issue of medical stuff being involved with execution. The gas chamber and electric chair historical have not been as humane as intended or advertised, but inert gas asphyxiation has the feature of being non-toxic (avoiding hazards to bystanders) but effective.

But then, I'm morally opposed to the death penalty when we can safety contain a threat and protect others from him, so in the modern world I can't support it.
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Re: South Carolina faces execution impasse

Post by Mr Bean » 2017-11-25 11:13am

Or if you want to kill someone quickly and painlessly you could use the gas chamber and stop using poison gasses and use something the military has known about forever... heavier than air gasses like Halon, argon and others like sulfur hexafluoride aka the Darth vadar gas.

Having worked in these spaces the danger (And thus usefulness) of the gasses are well known to many. Because here are the steps of death when breathing such gasses.

1. You breath in, because it's displacing oxygen from your lungs your brain does not trigger the choking reflect you breath in and out losing oxygen in your body and you don't care
2. You become light-headed as oxygen leaves the brain, side effect of this is headache, vertigo and feeling great.
3.Your brain shuts down you pass out light switch being turned off
4. Death of oxygen deprivation quickly follows

Having seen someone lean into a space where there was a Halon leak I watched this process occur in real time not realizing exactly what was going on for twenty thirty seconds until the MM1 passed the fuck out on us and we had to haul him back, had he been working by himself he would have passed out in that pool of Halon from the leaky valve and none of would have found him in time.


Because your body has no real defense mechanisms to let you know breathing in heavier than air gasses you have no idea what going on till your far to late and far to dead to matter. As far as execution methods go it's ideal.

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Re: South Carolina faces execution impasse

Post by LaCroix » 2017-11-25 06:07pm

Our bodies are rigged to detect a surplus of CO2 in our lungs, but not a lack of oxygen. Anything other than CO2 will work that way.

Of all gasses, CO is known to work really well, as it bonds to blood cells and will not let go, so once it is in the body, it cannot be exhaled. So taking even a few deep breaths of it will be lethal.
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Re: South Carolina faces execution impasse

Post by Jaepheth » 2018-03-26 05:04pm

Oklahoma is going to start using Nitrogen:
[url="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-oklahoma-executions/oklahoma-to-become-first-u-s-state-to-use-nitrogen-gas-for-executions-idUSKCN1GQ3CT" wrote:Reuters[/url]]Oklahoma plans to start using nitrogen gas for executions, officials said on Wednesday, in what would be the first such method of capital punishment in the United States.

The state is turning to nitrogen after it and other states became unable to acquire drugs required for lethal injections because of opposition from manufacturers to their products being used for capital punishment.

Nitrogen is an odorless and tasteless gas that makes up about 78 percent of the air humans breathe but causes death when inhaled without any oxygen.

Oklahoma has not carried out an execution since 2015 after a series of mishaps, including a botched lethal injection where an inmate was seen writhing in pain and another inmate who was executed using a drug not approved by the state.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter said in a statement that the state would use nitrogen hypoxia – asphyxiation by breathing in the inert gas – as its primary means of execution once a protocol had been finalized for the process.

“Using an inert gas will be effective, simple to administer, easy to obtain and requires no complex medical procedures,” Hunter said in the statement.

Under state law, if lethal injection is unavailable, executions must be carried out by nitrogen gas inhalation, the statement added.

A spokeswoman for Hunter declined to comment on when executions might resume.

Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, a capital punishment monitor, said it would be some time before the state could seek a death warrant for an execution using nitrogen.

He said it faced a court order requiring it to wait 150 days until after a use protocol was published and would likely face litigation.

Dunham was not aware nitrogen hypoxia had ever been used anywhere in the world to execute a person. He said the American Veterinary Medical Association deemed the process inappropriate for euthanizing mammals and said it would take more than seven minutes to bring about the death of a 70-pound (32-kg) pig.

“This is another execution process that is untested, untried and experimental” Dunham said.

Hunter’s statement cited unnamed studies that said nitrogen hypoxia would lead to death in “just a few minutes.”

Dale Baich, one of the attorneys for the 20 Oklahoma death row inmates challenging the state’s method of execution, said the state needed to show what scientific research it had to prove the safety and legality of this new process.

“Without complete transparency, we have no assurance that executions won’t continue to be problematic,” Baich said in a statement.
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Re: South Carolina faces execution impasse

Post by mr friendly guy » 2018-03-27 10:53pm

Barbituates are used in euthanasia in some places where that is legal. They could use that for capital punishment. There is still the issue of sourcing it, since the OP states they couldn't get phenobarbitol which is a barbituate. Presumably European countries where euthanasia is legal can source it from somewhere even if its a non American company so that could work.
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Re: South Carolina faces execution impasse

Post by Alyrium Denryle » 2018-03-27 11:39pm

mr friendly guy wrote:
2018-03-27 10:53pm
Barbituates are used in euthanasia in some places where that is legal. They could use that for capital punishment. There is still the issue of sourcing it, since the OP states they couldn't get phenobarbitol which is a barbituate. Presumably European countries where euthanasia is legal can source it from somewhere even if its a non American company so that could work.
Nope! The reason various states are having shortages is because no one is willing to sell the necessary drugs for the purposes of capital punishment. We already use Phenobarbitol as part of the execution cocktail... or did, if I remember correctly.
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Re: South Carolina faces execution impasse

Post by mr friendly guy » 2018-03-28 06:35am

Alyrium Denryle wrote:
2018-03-27 11:39pm
mr friendly guy wrote:
2018-03-27 10:53pm
Barbituates are used in euthanasia in some places where that is legal. They could use that for capital punishment. There is still the issue of sourcing it, since the OP states they couldn't get phenobarbitol which is a barbituate. Presumably European countries where euthanasia is legal can source it from somewhere even if its a non American company so that could work.
Nope! The reason various states are having shortages is because no one is willing to sell the necessary drugs for the purposes of capital punishment. We already use Phenobarbitol as part of the execution cocktail... or did, if I remember correctly.
You have a point there, so we can scrap European companies then. That however leaves Asia. I am going to hazard a guess states could find a supplier if they were willing to look harder. There are, how can I put this, certain freelance labs in cough India, cough China who might make the drug. I mean phenobarbitol cost like $5 in developing countries according to wiki. These free lance labs in Asia sell things from meth derivatives to carfentanil, and they aren't fussy if the person buying the carfentanil isn't exactly looking to sedate elephants (which is what the drug is supposed to be used for).

So phenobarbitol could be doable, its just a matter of whether its profitable for these labs to manufacture it and the opportunity costs involved if they used resources to manufacture phenobarbitol instead of their um, usual merchandise.

Now given that government organisations are willing to deal with pretty shady corporations when it suits them, what is one more shady company. :D

Not that I am advocating doing this, just pointing out it doesn't seem beyond the realms of possibility to get small Asian labs to produce it.
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Re: South Carolina faces execution impasse

Post by bilateralrope » 2018-03-28 05:14pm

What I remember happening at the start of this execution drug shortage is:
- The public found out the company that was supplying the execution drug.
- The company didn't like the bad PR and claimed that it didn't know it was supplying them due to middlemen.
- Said company then reorganized its supply chain so that it knew where all the drugs it was manufacturing ended up and prevent any being used for executions.

The question is: Are any of these freelance labs you talk about are willing to take the PR hit of manufacturing drugs for executions and the loss of business from doctors who don't want to buy from a lab producing drugs to kill people ?

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Re: South Carolina faces execution impasse

Post by Alyrium Denryle » 2018-03-28 06:47pm

mr friendly guy wrote:
2018-03-28 06:35am
Alyrium Denryle wrote:
2018-03-27 11:39pm
mr friendly guy wrote:
2018-03-27 10:53pm
Barbituates are used in euthanasia in some places where that is legal. They could use that for capital punishment. There is still the issue of sourcing it, since the OP states they couldn't get phenobarbitol which is a barbituate. Presumably European countries where euthanasia is legal can source it from somewhere even if its a non American company so that could work.
Nope! The reason various states are having shortages is because no one is willing to sell the necessary drugs for the purposes of capital punishment. We already use Phenobarbitol as part of the execution cocktail... or did, if I remember correctly.
You have a point there, so we can scrap European companies then. That however leaves Asia. I am going to hazard a guess states could find a supplier if they were willing to look harder. There are, how can I put this, certain freelance labs in cough India, cough China who might make the drug. I mean phenobarbitol cost like $5 in developing countries according to wiki. These free lance labs in Asia sell things from meth derivatives to carfentanil, and they aren't fussy if the person buying the carfentanil isn't exactly looking to sedate elephants (which is what the drug is supposed to be used for).

So phenobarbitol could be doable, its just a matter of whether its profitable for these labs to manufacture it and the opportunity costs involved if they used resources to manufacture phenobarbitol instead of their um, usual merchandise.

Now given that government organisations are willing to deal with pretty shady corporations when it suits them, what is one more shady company. :D

Not that I am advocating doing this, just pointing out it doesn't seem beyond the realms of possibility to get small Asian labs to produce it.
Already been tried

:lol:

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Re: South Carolina faces execution impasse

Post by Zaune » 2018-03-28 06:53pm

This cannot possibly be cheaper than four guys with AR-15s and one bullet each.
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Re: South Carolina faces execution impasse

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-03-28 08:25pm

Gators are cheaper yet.
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Re: South Carolina faces execution impasse

Post by Napoleon the Clown » 2018-03-28 10:23pm

Zaune wrote:
2018-03-28 06:53pm
This cannot possibly be cheaper than four guys with AR-15s and one bullet each.
Firing squad is mildly traumatic for the shooters, though. Gotta pretend executing people is clean and pretty!
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Re: South Carolina faces execution impasse

Post by Alyrium Denryle » 2018-03-28 11:47pm

Napoleon the Clown wrote:
2018-03-28 10:23pm
Zaune wrote:
2018-03-28 06:53pm
This cannot possibly be cheaper than four guys with AR-15s and one bullet each.
Firing squad is mildly traumatic for the shooters, though. Gotta pretend executing people is clean and pretty!
Well gee, it's almost like the people performing executions are people and we're telling them, as a society, to do a thing at our behest! We kinda owe it to them not to traumatize THEM for something we've collectively decided is OK and socially sanctioned. :wanker:
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Re: South Carolina faces execution impasse

Post by Ralin » 2018-03-29 01:08am

Alyrium Denryle wrote:
2018-03-28 11:47pm
Napoleon the Clown wrote:
2018-03-28 10:23pm
Zaune wrote:
2018-03-28 06:53pm
This cannot possibly be cheaper than four guys with AR-15s and one bullet each.
Firing squad is mildly traumatic for the shooters, though. Gotta pretend executing people is clean and pretty!
Well gee, it's almost like the people performing executions are people and we're telling them, as a society, to do a thing at our behest! We kinda owe it to them not to traumatize THEM for something we've collectively decided is OK and socially sanctioned. :wanker:
How hard can it be to find someone who wouldn't be traumatized by executing people, or even who actively gets off on it? Serial killers aren't that rare, and there are probably plenty more people with the right mindset who would become one if they could.

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Re: South Carolina faces execution impasse

Post by mr friendly guy » 2018-03-29 03:05am

They need to find someone like this Singaporean guy
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For those who remember the board back in 2005, this was when Singapore executed an Australian drug mule. Fun times in those threads. :D

If Singapore with a population of 5 million back then could find someone, surely the US with a population of 325 million should be able to.
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Re: South Carolina faces execution impasse

Post by Zaune » 2018-03-29 04:43am

Alyrium Denryle wrote:
2018-03-28 11:47pm
Well gee, it's almost like the people performing executions are people and we're telling them, as a society, to do a thing at our behest! We kinda owe it to them not to traumatize THEM for something we've collectively decided is OK and socially sanctioned. :wanker:
If states are that worried about traumatising their executioners then they always have the option of abolishing capital punishment.

That was ultimately the point I was trying to make. If society is too squeamish to use the fastest and ultimately most humane method of executing someone just because it's a bit messy, maybe it's time to do away with the practice altogether.
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Re: South Carolina faces execution impasse

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-03-29 01:03pm

Personally I consider this to be a fair point.
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Re: South Carolina faces execution impasse

Post by Enigma » 2018-03-29 05:23pm

I'm sure there'd be plenty of inmate that would love to volunteer to be an executioner. Attach the rifle to a fixed emplacement, pointed directly at the head of the target and let the volunteer pull the trigger.


That's a solution, but then again, I'm not a fan of the death penalty.
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Re: South Carolina faces execution impasse

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-03-29 05:27pm

I'm fairly sympathetic to arguments that there should be a death penalty, but it has to be something the state carries out impersonally through its own agents. Finding a random sociopath from the prison population to volunteer for the duty isn't an acceptable alternative.
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Re: South Carolina faces execution impasse

Post by Ralin » 2018-03-29 06:02pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-03-29 05:27pm
I'm fairly sympathetic to arguments that there should be a death penalty, but it has to be something the state carries out impersonally through its own agents. Finding a random sociopath from the prison population to volunteer for the duty isn't an acceptable alternative.
You've said that before. Personally I find the idea of being executed by a carefully laid out and sanitized procedure by some functionary who's just doing his job and doesn't feel strongly about it one way or another a whole lot more more dehumanizing than getting shot dead by the weird guy who volunteered to be the state's hatchet man for free.

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