Injection - Ohio's Shame
By Jonathan I. Groner MD, OSU Children's Hospital
April 25, 2007
the very same day that a scientific article critical of lethal injection
was published, the State of Ohio carried a lethal injection execution
on James Filiaggi.
new study, "Lethal
injection for execution: Chemical Asphyxiation?" provides
compelling evidence that lethal injection is fundamentally flawed.
The research shows that the 3 drug cocktail used in lethal injection
is essentially a kitchen recipe that was never researched and never
examined in any scientific way. As a result, the authors argue,
there is the possibility that inmates may look serene but actually
suffer an agonizing death due to asphyxiation from paralysis of
breathing muscles. Clearly, such a death would be cruel, inhumane,
December, when an execution team in Florida required 34 minutes
and two rounds of drugs to produce death in an inmate, pro-death
penalty Governor Jeb Bush ordered a moratorium and an investigation.
There have been no further executions.
last May, when an Ohio execution team took nearly 90 minutes, two
rounds of drugs, and repeated attempts at IV insertions to kill
an inmate (whose moans were heard by media witnesses), then Ohio
Governor Taft's response was to do absolutely nothing.
would think that Governor Ted Strickland, a former maximum security
prison psychologist, would be willing to examine lethal injection
more carefully than Governor Taft, particularly in view of the recent
botched executions. However, Governor Strickland was willing to
let Mr. Filiaggi go to his death.
yesterday morning, Mr. Filiaggi had IV lines placed in both arms.
He was strapped to the execution table, and, after a signal from
the warden the lethal drugs flowed into his arms: First thiopental,
a barbiturate; then pancuronium bromide, a powerful muscle paralyzing
agent; then potassium chloride, which causes cardiac arrest in large
Filiaggi, according to eyewitnesses, died peacefully.
Jonathan I. Groner MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery
The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Trauma Medical Director
700 Children's Drive ED-341
Columbus, OH 43205