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March 4, 2007

Federal death penalty readings for March 7 and 8

Here are the materials and ideas that Caitlin and Kacey have sent my way to facilitate our examination of the federal death penalty:


Here is a chart comparing the federal death penalty statute to the Ohio death penalty statute:

Download comparison_of_jurisdictions.doc

We plan on focusing on two main aspects of the federal death penalty, the admissibility of victim impact evidence, such as in the case of Zacarias Moussaoui, and potential Eighth Amendment challenges, both when the death penalty is applied in jurisdictions that do not otherwise permit its use, and when it is applied to charges that do not have a death element.

The following readings cover the issues we plan to address:

  • Wayne A. Logan, Victim Impact Evidence in Federal Capital Trials, 19 Fed. Sent. R. 5 (2006).
  • The Death Penalty Information Center has this page of articles and links relating to the case of Zacarias Moussaoui and various statements from victims who testified at his trial.
  • Michael J. Zydney Mannheimer, When the Federal Death Penalty is "Cruel and Unusual", 74 U. Cin. L. Rev. 819 (2006).
  • Rory Little, Good Enough for Government Work?  The Tension Between Uniformity and Differing Regional Values in Administering the Federal Death Penalty, 14 Fed. Sent. R. 7 (2002).

March 4, 2007 in Student-assigned readings | Permalink


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Death Penalty in Arizona makes NYT Monday:


Posted by: Scott | Mar 6, 2007 1:36:24 AM

"Hypothetical" Protocol for Full-Proof Painless Execution by Lethal Injection

1.) ~2-6 hours prior to execution, an emergency or critical care physician, surgeon, or anaesthesiologist inserts a central venous catheter into the femoral, internal jugular, subclavian, axial, or brachial vein (or artery, in that order of preference), by Seldinger technique. Intramuscular or subcutaneous conscious sedation (e.g., fentanyl +/- midazolam) is administered prior to and/or during this procedure, and full local anesthesia (e.g., lidocaine or bupivacaine) is utilized as well. If percutaneous Seldinger technique cannot be utilized in any of the above vessels, the procedure, AND the execution if need be, is delayed until a surgeon, veternarian, or other qualified person can perform surgical cut-down for catheter insertion. The catheter must be sutured in place by no fewer than 12 00 silk sutures passing into the deep subcutaneous tissues. Intravascular placement is confirmed by freely flowing withdrawal of blood from the catheter and functionality is confirmed by free saline flushing.

2.) After insertion and until the actual execution, the prisioner is monitored and immobilized if necessary to prevent dislodgement of the catheter. Continued doses of benzodiazepines can be administered for psychological distress. Opioids can be administered for any pain post-procedure.

3.) At the time of actual execution, blood is drawn from the catheter to again confirm intravascular placement.

3.) At the actual execution, to anesthetize and render completely unconscious the prisoner to absolutely assure that no pain or distress is experienced, a physician directs the administration of sodium thipental at a dose of 5000 mg.

4.) The physician or other designated person assures that anaesthesia has been achieved by assessing for apnea or with the use of EEG monitoring (optional).

5.) An intravenous mechanically delivered bolus of 160 MEQ of potassium chloride is administered at a rate of 4cc/second (40 seconds required for entire bolus), and cardiac asystole is confirmed by continuous EKG monitoring.

Posted by: Provocateur Doctor | Mar 7, 2007 8:46:34 PM

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