1 June 2016
Pharmaceutical company, Pfizer has announced that it is making preparations to stop supplying drugs used for lethal injections on inmates sentenced to death in America.
Owing to this decision, there are currently no manufacturers of drugs from whom drugs for lethal injections would be gotten, raising the question of if the practice of using lethal injections (and using capital punishment at all) should be banned.
Lethal injections work by causing paralysis to the convicted, then stopping breathing, followed by stopping the heart from beating, leading eventually to death.
Even though it is considered a “gentle killing” as opposed to other methods like hanging and death by firing squad, many companies do not want their names attached to such drugs for ethical concerns.
It has now become extremely difficult for the government to source for the drugs used in death sentences.
There is a worldwide trend of moving away from death penalties and more towards life sentences and reforming of inmates.
Canada, South Africa, most European countries and 19 states in the US have banned the death penalty while 31 other states in the US have not.
Some of these states have vowed to use the firing squad method if drugs used for lethal injection are no longer available.