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​​​​​​​Methods of Executions

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Methods of Executions

In addition to the actual killing of a human being and the years of psychological torment leading up to this act, the methods of execution employed in the U.S. have resulted in the infliction of additional pain. At least 20 executions since 1976 involved mistakes in the process which led to prolonged and painful executions, such as an inmate's head catching fire during an electrocution and the torturous 45-minute search for a suitable vein to carry out a lethal injection. Four states use electrocution for execution with no alternative possible. Outside of the death penalty, the applying of powerful electric currents to the human body would unhesitatingly be called torture.

Other states allow the inmates, many of whom are suffering from mental illness, to choose equally grisly forms of execution such as hanging, the firing squad or the gas chamber. At least some of the pain and suffering which these methods cause is gratuitous and could be avoided. To insist on the worst methods of execution, as recently exhibited in Florida, despite evidence of the severe pain inflicted and repeated mistakes in application, is a violation of the Torture Convention and of basic respect for human rights

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