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Featured Image Credit: Death Penalty Fail/ YouTube
A group of campaigners have recorded 'a painstaking reconstruction' of a 'real-time execution' to raise awareness of the flaws of lethal injection. Warning: Contains scenes some viewers may find disturbing.
Death Penalty Fail is a campaign group which seeks to 'promote the facts, highlight the inefficiencies, and push for the repeal of the death penalty in the United States'.
The campaign group explains on its website how executions 'have been on the decline' in the US over 'the last few years,' and 'the death penalty system has been fraught with pragmatic, fiscal, and constitutional problems'.
It states: "More and more states are re-evaluating their use of the death penalty or abandoning it altogether: 19 states have repealed it (plus the District of Columbia!), four have a moratorium in place, and eight more haven’t carried out an execution in more than 10 years.
"This fall voters in California and Nebraska will go to the polls with the chance to end the death penalty in their states.
"Even with all of this decline, the US is still one of the highest executing nations in the world."
Appealing to people whether or not they believe in the death penalty or not, the group says 'there can be no doubt that it is riddled with problems'.
It explains the group is committed to 'educating people around the social, emotional and financial burdens of the death penalty' whether it be using stories, visuals or film.
It concludes: "We look to intensify the social conversation and increase the number of active death penalty repeal supporters.
"Now is the time to think again about the death penalty."
In 2016, the group released footage of 'what your government doesn't want you to see' - a recreation of an execution by lethal injection.
It explains how 'more than 1,250 people have been executed in the USA since 1977,' with executions 'often monitored on video by the authorities'.
It states that the supply of lethal chemicals has been 'blocked' because of an international human rights embargo.
"As a result, some states have chosen to use non-FDA approved drugs," it claims.
In 2019, the Justice Department ruled that the FDA had no legal authority to regulate drugs used to carry out lethal injections.
The campaign group adds that at least 13 states 'now keep the source of their lethal chemicals a secret'.
The reconstruction video of a real-time execution claims the executioner is 'a volunteer prison officer who is not medically trained,' and paid '$300 [£240] cash' to do the job.
According to the Palm Beach Post, executioners in Florida can be paid as little as $150 (£120) per execution.
A microphone is attached to the inmate 'as a backup to the one above' him to pick up their 'last words to [their] family'.
"A 'licensed medic' must fit the syringes, insert the IV's and pronounce the prisoner's death," the caption reads.
However, the campaigners allege the medical staff involved are 'often inexperienced in this procedure'.
While medical staff are present, the video notes the person ultimately responsible for the injection - in where it is administered and what chemicals it contains - is the Director of Corrections.
However, the caption states: "He is not medically trained."
The video shows two IV lines being inserted into the prisoner's veins to which 'an accurate IV insertion is crucial for an anaesthetic to work'.
However, there appears to be an issue, with the medical assistant stating he has 'gone through the vein'.
The inmate appears to be in considerable distress, making sounds of discomfort and his face contorted.
A vein in the groin is tried instead and once the IV lines are successfully inserted the execution begins.
"Executions are routinely attended by members of the press and the family of the prisoner," the video states.
In order to conceal their identity, the 'licensed medic' is noted as covering their face.
After the inmate gives a statement, the lethal injection is then administered.
However, the caption explains it 'can take up to two hours before death is pronounced'.
The prisoner is anaesthetised with the sedative, Midazolam, which one of the medical team notes should take 'about five minutes' to kick in.
The inmate's heart rate is monitored 'going down' before he is checked and evaluated as 'unresponsive'.
"The second chemical, Vecuronium Bromide paralyses the prisoner. The prisoner can still feel pain but is unable to move," the video states.
However, the team spot the prisoner's eyes open, causing extreme panic among the rest of the team.
The caption reads: "The final chemical, potassium chloride kills the prisoner by stopping the heart.
"If the prisoner is still conscious, this last chemical will cause an intense burning pain."
Medical staff can be heard swearing, with one exclaiming: "He should be unconscious."
The campaign video claims 'at least 75' having been 'botched' since 1977.
Death Penalty Fail concludes: "The lethal injection process is so problematic, only six states continue to execute people.
"The 8th amendment of the US constitution bans 'cruel and unusual punishment'.
"Is the lethal injection cruel and unusual?"
You can watch the full video here.
Topics: US News