Law Center - POSTED: 2007/09/25 15:11
All but one of the states with the death penalty and the federal government use lethal injection for executions. The only exception is Nebraska, which requires electrocution.
The standard method involves administering three separate chemicals: sodium pentothal, an anesthetic, which makes the inmate unconscious; pancuronium bromide, which paralyzes all muscles except the heart, and then potassium chloride, which stops the heart, causing death.
Attorneys for the two Kentucky men said at least half of the death row inmates facing imminent execution in the last two years have filed suit challenging the chemicals used in lethal injections. While various lower court federal judges have ruled on the issue, the Supreme Court has yet to decide it.