Soundings Soundings

Death by injection

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7141.1394 (Published 02 May 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1394
  1. George Dunea, attending physician
  1. Cook County Hospital, Chicago, USA

    On the subject of the death penalty, opinions vary as much as on other controversial subjects, such as abortion, gun control, or welfare for the indigent. Over the past few months I have informally polled friends and acquaintances and found the most diverse and often quite passionate opinions. On the whole, however, my findings bear out the earlier national formal polls: the majority of Americans, over 60%, support the death penalty.

    Supporters will admit that theoretically mistakes could occur, but point out that the long delays between sentencing and executions make this quite unlikely. They say that the death penalty has been imposed mostly for particularly heinous crimes against children and old ladies, for rape, or for mass murderers, …

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