April 9, 2008
Anesthetizing the Public Conscience: Lethal Injection and Animal Euthanasia
SSRN.com Recent published University of Berkeley School of Law CrimProf Ty Apler's article "Anesthetizing the Public Conscience: Lethal Injection and Animal Euthanasia." Here is the abstract:
Lawyers challenging lethal injection on
behalf of death row inmates have frequently argued that lethal
injection protocols do not comport with standard practices for the
euthanasia of animals. This article studies state laws governing animal
euthanasia and concludes that many more states than have previously
been recognized ban the use of paralyzing agents in animal euthanasia.
In fact, 97.6% of lethal injection executions in this country have
taken place in states that have banned, for use in animal euthanasia,
the same drugs that are used in those states during executions.
Moreover, a study of the legislative history of state euthanasia laws reveals that the concerns raised about paralyzing drugs in the animal euthanasia context are identical in many ways to the concerns that lawyers for death row inmates are currently raising about the use of those drugs in the lethal injection executions of human beings.
This article takes an in depth look at animal euthanasia and its relationship to lethal injection by examining in Part I the history and origins of the paralyzing drugs that veterinarians and animal welfare experts refuse to allow in animal euthanasia; in Part II the standards of professional conduct for veterinary and animal shelter professionals; in Part III, the state laws and regulations governing animal euthanasia; and finally in Part IV, the legislative history that led to the enactment of the various states' animal euthanasia laws and regulations.
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