Intended for healthcare professionals


US government resumes executions using pentobarbital injection

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: (Published 29 July 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l4918
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. New York, USA

The US federal government announced last week that it would resume executing prisoners in December, after a moratorium of 16 years. It will use only an injection of pentobarbital.1

The first five prisoners to be executed have been found guilty of federal crimes and have exhausted all their appeals. The five men murdered and in some cases tortured and raped their victims. The executions will take place in the US penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana. Three executions are set for December and two for January. Other executions will take place later.

Attorney general William P Barr said he was directing the Federal Bureau of Prisons to adopt the execution protocol using only pentobarbital, a method used by Georgia, Missouri, and Texas. Previously a three drug regimen was …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription