Death penalty drugs

I’m pleased to see this, I do wonder whether it would make an iota of a difference though, they’ll most likely just find some other way to legally murder.

German doctors: No death drugs to US 2011-01-24 22:43

Berlin - Germany’s leading medical association called on Monday on the nation’s pharmaceutical companies to refrain from selling a drug used in lethal injections to the United States.

Frank Ulrich Montgomery, vice president of the German Medical Association, told The Associated Press on Monday the nation’s doctors are throwing their support behind a call by the health ministry for German drug companies and distributors to reject US requests for the drug, sodium thiopental.

“We are calling on the German pharmaceutical industry to send a clear signal that it recognises its ethical responsibility and refrain from selling any drugs to the United States that could be used in carrying out the death penalty,” Montgomery said.

“This is not about money, but ethical principles,” he added.

Last week the sole US producer of sodium thiopental - which is used as part of a three-drug combination for lethal injections in 35 states - said it was ceasing production due to objections by authorities in Italy, where the company had been making it.

Several states started facing shortages in the fall, causing them to search abroad for sources of the drug. One source dried up in November when the British government banned exports of sodium thiopental for use in executions.

Planned executions in the US.states of Arizona, California, Kentucky, Ohio and Oklahoma are currently facing delays or disruptions, due to the shortage.

Over the weekend, Germany’s health ministry said Minister Philipp Roesler wrote a letter to the nation’s pharmaceutical companies urging them to ignore any possible US requests for deliveries of the drug.

Germany, along with Italy and Britain, banned capital punishment after World War II.

In 2008, the European Union issued a declaration against the death penalty and has lobbied for its abolition worldwide.

Everything’s got a price. If the demand is high enough someone will supply. Some 3rd world country?

This makes no sense. The drug is no longer protected by patents and it is commonly used as an ingredient of general anesthesia, so I can’t imagine why there would be any difficulty obtaining it. Here’s the first paragraph of Wikipedia’s article:-

Sodium thiopental, better known as Sodium Pentothal (a trademark of Abbott Laboratories), thiopental, thiopentone sodium, or Trapanal (also a trademark), is a rapid-onset short-acting barbiturate general anaesthetic. Thiopental is a core medicine in the World Health Organization's "Essential Drugs List", which is a list of minimum medical needs for a basic healthcare system.[3]

With all the warped perversity surrounding the death penalty, it could be that for the purposes of administering it, the drug must be of an exceptional purity that only a few manufacturers are capable of supplying – said purity, of course, so that the target’s good health should not be jeopardised… ::slight_smile:


OK, this I can believe. It’s the same as not allowing the condemned man a cigarette with his last meal–on grounds that it’s bad for him!

the death penalty is neither here not there for me. the fact that thousands of murderers and rapist are living the good life, with tv, internet, free meals and medical, on my hard-earned tax money, irks me.

i have heard, before, that death penalties have been post-poned, because the doomed guy, was in hospital, with the flu or something. and im like, huh?
why are there different kinds of death penalties anyhow? does the usa still use electricution, and lethal injection? what’s the diff? you vrek anyhow.

Its all about compassion and human rights…

its relative really.
what is more compassionate?

  1. killing a monster(quite gracefully and relatively quickly) , who cruelly ends people’s lives, and uses up tax money that could be used to feed and educate the poor.
    or let him go, and have him kill again.

  2. or watching your partner/parent die a slow, agonising death from cancer, and not be allowed to help them end their lives.

does the criminal have human rights after he decided, willingly, to end someone else’s life? did the victim have any human rights when his life was ended? does a murderer, not forego their human right when they kill in cold blood? where was his compassion when he strangled his victim to death after he raped her? how does he deserve compassion then?

why cant i have the human right to end my life?

if i was of the woo-orientation, then i would say, its for god to decide. but the authorities, are not god. they make use of laws, drawn up, my humans. so its a human law. but when you are wanting to die, because you life is a hell of pain, then its up to god, and you are not allowed to die when you should choose to.

why should my tax go to feed THOUSANDS of criminals parking off. why cant my tax fix the roads, feed orphans, spay stray animals… why should i pay for someone who has no respect for me, and will take my hard earned money from me, without thinking twice. does he have compassion for me? does he not continue stealing from each and every tax-paying citizen in this country, by sitting on his arse for his entire life, on my coin?

then, if killing convicted murderers are a case of compassion and human rights, then what about abortions? then, that, too, should be frowned upon. an unborn fetus has done no crime. it is innocent. then one cannot support reproductive choices, because its murder.

if are going to condone the death penalty, then one should condone all forms of murder.

why should my tax go to feed THOUSANDS of criminals parking off.

Interesting question. And yes, it irks me too that the system is so clumsy and that we clever humans don’t seem capable of doing the justice thing a bit better.

Does anyone have any solutions to the crime/full jails/us paying for it problem? Others countries with new ideas?

One could make a case for going back to the passé fashion of forced labour where convicts give back to society by maintaining and developing infrastructure. For example, they might be used as road crews repairing potholes in the rainy season.

Of course, this suggestion is not PC and will be viewed as uncivilised and counter to rehabilitation practices. The more pragmatic and less charitable view is that a criminal has, by virtue of his or her antisocial conduct, abrogated their social standing – if one ignores that some crimes are prompted purely by desperation.

It’s an ethical minefield.


The death penalty is more expensive than regular prison. Even from a cold hard economic perspective it doesn’t make sense. From ABC news.

California has a $25-billion deficit and almost 700 inmates on death row. According to a 2008 report issued by the California Commission for the Fair Administration of Justice, maintaining the criminal justice system costs $137 million per year, but the cost would drop to $11.5 million if it weren't for the death penalty. A 2010 study from the Northern California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union found that California would be forced to spend $1 billion on the death penalty in the next five years if the state does not replace capital punishment with permanent imprisonment.

What if it is offered as a choice with the possibility of time off if admirably performed? A quid pro quo if you will.

It could work that way but it would involve extensive revisions to extant legislation, as well as legal and correctional practices. However, if it’s voluntary, it will lose considerable punitive force and probably erode public confidence in it being a fitting and proper restitutive measure – that is, it’s an uncomfortable fact that the public wants to know that convicts are being punished by being forced to do things against their will, and that they’re not on a state-sponsored holiday. Also, one should consider that, as things stand, a sizeable fraction of SA’s prison population would rather be in prison where they are fed, clothed and sheltered, than outside where they have nothing, so that incentivising voluntary labour via reduced terms may not actually encourage many prisoners to take that option, especially when times are hard and such labour would be most beneficial.

As said, it’s an ethical minefield.


Does it make sense to look at it from this point of view: We contribute our taxes to keeping criminals off the streets, i.e. we are paying for a safer society for the rest of us. I’m not sure it actually works this way in practice, though.

Well, “That,” as the saying goes, “is the theory.” Another saying goes, “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.”