Question about lethal injection.

Just watched the end of Dead Man Walking and it occurs to me, most death-row prisoners seem to go quietly to their fate. What would happen if one, knowing of the horrors of lethal injection, decided he’d rather face a firing squad? In other words, do everything possible to resist the injection, including trying to run away as they march him down the hall?

Wouldn’t the guards be forced to shoot, thus granting his wish?

Executions are normally carried out at the prison facilities, in secure areas. Where is he gonna go if he takes off running? There would be no reason to shoot the death row inmate.

Rather than shooting the inmate, it’s far more likely the facility officials would have half a dozen or more guards on ready standby to enforce the execution order. With no place to run, the inmate would quickly be overpowered, forced into restraints, probably gagged, dragged to the execution chamber and strapped down. No guns required.

Or he could request an alternative form and save everyone the hassle

How is going to run in shackles?

Before certain Chanel’s slid into the abyss, one of them had some very informational series. One of them dealt with prisons and such and they captured the process of a death row inmate that was to be executed. One of the things that they did with the inmate was practice the process of his final day.

As in, they shackles him in his cell, then they walked him to the execution chamber/room, strapped him down, and stated this is when they’d prep him for the injection. They did this multiple times during the weeks leading up to the day.

Obviously, they do this to desensitize the inmate. I imagine this practice was developed to mitigate the risk of an inmate from going on full fight/flight mode as they are within minutes of being put to death.

Those CO’s inside the facility dealing directly with inmates would not be armed with firearms. Some institutions allow their officers to have tasers inside the pods, but that’s it.

I am surprised more condemned people don’t scream and try to fight with all their might, however. I always read how they go into the death chamber without incident.

I remember seeing an interview with Lynda Lyon Block where she said she would fight and kick and scream until she was dead. All indications are she did none of that.

Desensitize? Oh, no it isn’t.

This sounds like the mock executions brutal people from Stalin to ISIS have done on their prisoners.

This is torture, nothing more.

I’ve read that they are given a sedative but I have no cite.

I recall someone was dragged into the execution room.

It also reminds me of mafia guys who are called into meetings when they pretty much know they are going to be killed by other mafia members. Seems most of them go willingly rather than try to avoid it by leaving town. In the book Donnie Brasco a mafia guy was headed to a meeting where he likely would have been whacked when the FBI arrested him.

With ISIS, AIUI, they would run through rehearsals with the prisoner believing it was an actual execution. They would repeat this until the prisoner was used to the rehearsals and wouldn’t fight it anymore. And then they would carry out the actual execution with the prisoner offering no struggle at all. It’s a bit too late to struggle once the knife starts sawing into your neck.

In contrast, AIUI, execution rehearsals in the US justice system are understood by all participants, including the condemned prisoner, to be rehearsals.

I have no idea what happens if a condemned prisoner refuses to participate in such rehearsals.


Could you please provide a cite of any “execution rehearsals” in the United States in which the condemned prisoner participates? Thanks.

I’ve also read this, but it was at the prisoners option: they were offered a sedative/anti-depressant, but they chose to take it. (But I’d expect most do take it. They’ve probably had a history of drug use, and when the guards offer you the chance to pop a Valium or Xanax, why wouldn’t you say yes? Not like you have to worry about becoming addicted for the rest of your life!)