In the United States will experience a new method of death: inhalation of nitrogen
Advertising a volunteer organization that practices asphyxiation with nitrogen at the request of patients (such activities are prohibited in the Russian Federation)
There are several countries in the world that have not yet refused to physically kill people who have committed crimes. In Europe, there is only one such country. Proponents of the death penalty cite the example of the United States, where in many states compulsory euthanasia is also legalized. If we consider the United States to be the model and engine of world democracy, then it turns out that the death penalty is still acceptable for a modern civilized society?
Discussions on this issue continue, and in the United States, the authorities themselves are looking for new ways to kill the criminals without pain and convenience. Recently, Oklahoma, Alabama and Mississippi allowed the use of nitrogen for death sentences ,writes the NY Times.
According to officials, inhalation of nitrogen is devoid of the shortcomings of lethal injections, including failed attempts and related litigation, as well as the growing difficulties in obtaining poisons for injections.
Throughout American history, several methods have been used for the death penalty:
- electric chair (killing with alternating current of 5 A with a voltage of 2700 V, maximum current and voltage are limited so that the convict does not catch fire);
- a gas chamber (hydrocyanic acid, also hydrogen cyanide - HCN), was last used in 1999 in Arizona when a prisoner could not die for 18 minutes ;
- hanging (suffocation or fracture of the upper part of the spine);
The classic way the death penalty in the United States for the 20th century was the electric chair. In recent decades, in most states, it has been replaced by lethal injection as a more humane way. But it turned out that this method is not so humane and not always reliable. It turned out that an attempt to get into a vein is a very painful procedure for a convict. For example, in February 2018, the Alabama Penitentiary Unit tried for more than two hours to get a needle into a vein of a prisoner whose blood vessels were damaged by chemotherapy and drug abuse. As a result, attempts failed. The lawyer accused the punishment team of opening the artery and puncturing the prisoner's bladder. State officials later said they would not attempt to execute him again in the same way.
For lethal injections, poisons are used that in the wrong dosages can cause suffering. One of the poisons is a paralyzing agent, and the other stops the heart. The paralyzing medication was initially included in the mixture to make the process less alarming for the killing observers, it prevents the convict from having convulsions. Both poisons are introduced after the introduction of a sufficient amount of sedatives (barbiturates), when the convict loses consciousness. But if barbiturates do not work, the patient may experience significant pain.
In addition, some drug manufacturers began to deny US authorities to sell barbiturates if they were used for the death penalty, so that the authorities had a problem with the extraction of drugs.
In 2006, the lethal injection was declared unconstitutional in the states of California, Florida, Ohio and Missouri, which was motivated by the Eighth Amendment to the US Constitution prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment. Therefore, in the United States and in other countries, they are looking for alternative ways to execute the death penalty.
In the 1990s, it was proposed to use pure nitrogen for execution in the gas chamber. It is assumed that being in an atmosphere of pure nitrogen causes loss of consciousness in less than a minute without any unpleasant sensations. In 2015, the Oklahoma governor was the first to sign a bill permitting the suffocation of people with gaseous nitrogen.
The problem is, there is no scientific evidence about executions of people with nitrogen. This method of strangulation has not previously been used and mass experiments have not been conducted. Few reported nitrogen deaths resulted from industrial, medical accidents and suicides. It is known that in accidents, people really died quickly. In some cases, the staff who rushed to save them also fell dead. Before turning off the mind a person may feel dizzy and possibly euphoric, and vision dims, experts suggest.
According to available data, an increase in the concentration of nitrogen in the air does not lead to the same depressing effects as an increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide, when a person experiences a panicky feeling of “inability to breathe.” That is, there is reason to believe that death is really quick and painless. But still, doctors prefer to check that when a person is gassed with gas, he will not have a feeling of suffocation.
For example, veterinarians generally do not recommend nitrogen or other inert gases to put mammals to sleep. The reaction to gas varies depending on the type of animal. For example, in the 2013 guidelines, the Veterinary Medical Association of the United States wrote: "Current data indicates that this method is unacceptable because animals can experience unpleasant side effects before losing consciousness."
Therefore, some experts believe that there remains the risk of torture of the prisoner, and consequently, lawsuits from relatives, and proceedings for the violation of the Eighth Amendment to the US Constitution.
"When they start carrying out executions using nitrogen, this will be equivalent to the same type of experiments that we see in various variations of the lethal injection," said Jen Moreno, a lawyer and an expert in lethal injection at the Berkley Death Penalty Clinic .
About 2,750 prisoners are currently awaiting their fate on death row in federal and military prisons in the United States. They are distributed across 31 states, so that no matter where they begin to use inhalation of nitrogen, this state will become a testing ground for new ways of execution. Probably, a paralyzing agent will not be inserted into the gas chamber to the person - therefore, specialists will be able to visually assess whether he is tormented or not.
In addition to nitrogen, other innovations are planned to be tested. For example, Nebraska and Nevada will soon begin testing fentanyl (an opioid analgesic) as a sedative, writes the NY Times. Now there are trials on the legality of the use of this drug, which is prohibited by federal law for distribution.
The best commentary ( Meklon , research doctor): “With animals is also an acute question ... A lot of protocols on painless euthanasia when removed from the experiment. At the same time, I heard about one of our Moscow research centers. They work with chickens. So they have a standard because of the large number of such: dunk in liquid nitrogen, smash the countertop and shake the pieces of chicken into a container for recycling. " eight-/
311st comment after a detailed discussion of the various methods of the death penalty ( 360apm ): “Now I am not afraid of the death penalty, but comments to this news. In general, I now became afraid to greet people and communicate with them. How many hidden sadists appear with a lot of complexes, with which give a chance - will result in clever ways to take the life, even the criminals.
Now the penalty is to read these comments). ”