Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Road to Abolition?The Future of Capital Punishment in the United States$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Charles J. Jr. Ogletree and Austin Sarat

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780814762172

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814762172.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

“No Improvement over Electrocution or Even a Bullet”

“No Improvement over Electrocution or Even a Bullet”

Lethal Injection and the Meaning of Speed and Reliability in the Modern Execution Process

(p.252) 8 “No Improvement over Electrocution or Even a Bullet”
The Road to Abolition?

Jürgen Martschukat

NYU Press

This chapter examines the argument that the lethal injection is not humane at all, with particular emphasis on its speed and reliability. It first considers the latest criticisms against the lethal injection and relates it to two landmarks in the history of modern executions: the guillotine and the electric chair. It then provides an overview of the lethal injection and its introduction as a method of execution and goes on to discuss how notions of speed and timing have been incorporated into attempts to make executions “appear tolerable” by providing a “reliable, precise, and painless death” for the convicted. It argues that today's criticism of he lethal injection has not diverged much from that of the capital punishment discourse in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Keywords:   lethal injection, execution, guillotine, electric chair, painless death, capital punishment

NYU Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.