Lethal Injection

Reprieve’s Stop Lethal Injection Project (SLIP) helps pharmaceutical manufacturers, investors, and regulators prevent the misuse of medicines in the execution of prisoners.

In the United States, more than 1000 people have been executed by lethal injection since 1977. These executions are carried out using medicines originally designed to save and improve the lives of patients. Because these drugs were not designed to kill, and are administered in experimental dosages by wardens who are not medically trained, these executions are frequently botched.

Thanks to the actions of more than a dozen pharmaceutical manufacturers which worked with Reprieve to prevent the sale of their medicines for use in executions, US states are unable to purchase many ‘traditional’ execution drugs.

While a number of states have stopped executing prisoners, a small handful are turning to experimental new execution drug ‘cocktails’ made by the few manufacturers which do not currently restrict the sale of their drugs for use in this way. These experimental protocols have been responsible for a number of disastrous, drawn-out executions.

Reprieve helps manufacturers break their links with the execution drug trade, supports export regulators in preventing foreign medicines being sold to death rows, and seeks to debunk the myth of the “humane execution”.

Lethal Injection Issues

Key Cases

  • Dennis McGuire

    Dennis McGuire’s execution on January 16 2014 lasted 25 minutes and was one of the longest...

  • Clayton Lockett

    Clayton Lockett’s execution took 43 minutes to complete

  • Ed Zagorski

    Edmund Zagorski was set to be executed on 11 Jaunary 2011 with drugs imported from Britain, but was...

  • Brandon Rhode

    After having spent a third of his life on death row, Brandon Rhode’s worst fears about dying in...

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