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Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Monday, November 6, 2006

Easing the Stress of Death: Inmates Often Recieve Anti-Anxiety Drugs Before Execution

From washingtonpost.com: At least 19 of the country's 38 death penalty states offer sedatives and anti-anxiety drugs to condemned inmates before execution.

Though the practice does not violate national ethics standards for doctors and nurses who prescribe or administer the sedatives, it makes some death penalty opponents uneasy.

Condemned inmates in 11 states have received sedatives or anti-anxiety drugs before executions going back at least 12 years, according to a review by The Associated Press. Four death penalty states prohibit the drugs, including Texas, which has the country's busiest execution chamber.

Eight of 24 inmates put to death since Ohio resumed executions in 1999 took medication before they died by injection, according to logs of each prisoner's last 24 hours, which were obtained through a public-records request by the AP. Five inmates declined the drugs, and records don't indicate if drugs were offered in the remaining cases. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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