Lethal injection woes dig up death debate

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Many states have switched to lethal injection in recent years because it supposedly is the most humane way to execute prisoners. But what if drug companies don’t want their drugs used for executions or have stopped making such drugs? This actually has happened recently in the United States, as Hospira has stopped making sodium thiopental and Lundbeck Inc. does not want pentobarbital used for executions.

Because there are few companies that make such drugs - and the requirements for using them in executions are so rigid - it will either create a large backlog of executions or force states to use other means of execution that are purportedly less humane, like the electric chair.

As a result, this is causing severe problems in carrying out executions in our country, which will only add more fuel to the national debate about whether such executions should be done at all.

KENNETH L. ZIMMERMAN

Huntington Beach, Calif.

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