No one likes to think about the ultimate punishment that can be handed down by the court system in any state that still supports it. The threat of death can be a terrifying thought for any defendant, but those who are realistically faced with the death penalty for a capital crime are going through something complicated and horrifying. The only crime that is worthy of the death penalty—known as a capital crime—in the state of Alabama is intentional murder.
Methods of Execution
Only two methods of execution are utilized in the state of Alabama currently, and in many cases a prisoner gets the small gratification of choosing between the two. For most, the more humane method of lethal injection is chosen, and many states, including Alabama, use this as a primary method of execution. It is considered the best choice amongst the methods of execution utilized over the centuries, although some states have abolished the death penalty completely.
The other method is the more gruesome electric chair method, often used as a prop or significant factor in horror movies and crime dramas. This method is rarely used in any state these days, but the last person to be put to death via electric chair in Alabama was Linda Block in 2002. These days, inmates choose the lethal injection option, with no electrocution executions in the United States since 2005.
A Lethal Cocktail
There are three drugs that make up a lethal injection. The three work together to make the execution run as smoothly and painlessly as possible for the prisoner, witnesses, and the prison personnel, so that the experience is not as horrifying as in years past. The drugs are:
- Sodium thiopental. This is used to induce unconsciousness within seconds of administration.
- Pavulon, or pancuronium bromide. This drug paralyzes specific parts of the body, including the respiratory system.
- Potassium chloride. The third drug induces cardiac arrest, causing death.
A Shocking End
For those who choose the grisly electric chair, death comes in the form of overstimulation to the heart and all internal organs. The prisoner is not conscious after the first shock, which causes brain death, and death comes relatively quickly thereafter. Some states consider the electric chair to be a form of cruel and unusual punishment, such as Nebraska, others allow it only when other forms are considered to be unconstitutional, like Arkansas, and a few, like Alabama, use it as a second choice for those who do not like the idea of lethal injection.
Hand and Associates
Over the last two decades, we have worked hard to achieve a high success rate, and more than 90% of our clients have received a much better than expected sentence or case resolution. Do not play with your life, get someone on your side, fighting to protect your future, as soon as possible. Contact us early in the case to begin building your defense strategy.