Brandon Rhode was executed in Georgia shortly after 10pm on Tuesday 28th September 2010 using unapproved drugs imported from Dream Pharma in England.
The execution had originally been scheduled for 7pm the previous Tuesday, but just hours before it was due to be carried out, Brandon attempted suicide by slashing his neck and arms, terrified of the painful death by lethal injection that awaited him. Although he was supposedly on suicide watch, a prison guard had provided him with a disposable razor.
His medical records show that Brandon’s self-inflicted wounds were so severe that he lost at least half the blood in his body and suffered haemorrhagic shock, but medical personnel managed to ‘save’ his life by repeatedly shocking his heart. He had caused such damage to the blood vessels in his arms that an IV had to be inserted into his neck. When Brandon was returned to prison, the IV port was left in place so that the lethal injection could be administered in the same site.
After his suicide attempt, Brandon was tightly restrained in a chair for seven days, bound at his chest, arms and legs and shackled. He was forced to spend almost 24 hours a day sitting upright in bright light and constant noise, permitted just ten minutes each day to walk around. When he needed to eat, one of his hands was released for five minutes.
In an affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court, Brandon’s attorney Brian Kammer stated that when he met with his client at this time, “Brandon indicated that he was in severe pain and discomfort amounting to torture”. He was cycling in and out of a dissociative state, and although he may well have suffered further brain damage as a result of his substantial blood loss, no neuropsychological testing was performed.
The execution went ahead in September 2010 using the drugs imported from Acton-based driving school-cum-wholesaler, Dream Pharma. Witnesses to the execution testified that Brandon’s eyes remained open throughout the process, a sign that the anaesthetic (the first of the three drugs administered in the lethal injection protocol) had not worked effectively. Experts believe that the execution was botched, and that Brandon would have died in agony.