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Report No. 187

Chapter 3

Federal Executions and Typical Execution Procedure in Different States in The U.S.A.

The Federal Execution

The American Federal Bureau of Prisons has lethal injection facility at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana. The death house is located inside a non-descript brick building outside the main penitentiary compound, and consists of five viewing rooms surrounding the execution chamber. The chamber is a stark, hospital-like room lined with green tiles and bare except for the large gurney equipped with five Velcro restraints and a sink in one corner. The intravenous tubes pass through a small opening in the wall and into the executioner's room nearby. All but one room, the executioner's, are equipped with large two-way windows with curtains.

The executioner's room is fitted with one-way glass. During an execution, prison officials will maintain an open telephone line to the Justice Department in Washington as the President of the U.S.A. has sole authority to grant last-minute clemency. Overhead, a camera linked to a monitor inside the executioner's room will watch the process to note whether the prisoner suffers any pain during the procedure.

On the June 11th 2001 Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber became the first person to be executed under Federal law since 1963. He had placed a bomb outside the Alfred P Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 people and injuring 850. The intravenous drip that delivered the lethal chemicals went to a catheter in McVeigh's right leg. The first drug was 20administered at 8.10 a.m., with the second being given at 8.11 and the final one at 8.13 and he was pronounced dead at 8.14 a.m. The whole process took only four minutes.

On June 19, Juan Raul Garza, a Mexican-American drug lord, who was also fond of murder, was executed on the same gurney. The American military has also moved to lethal injection (from hanging) and now has a facility in the basement of the military prison at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas which is currently housing six or seven inmates.

Mode of Execution of Death Sentence and Incidental Matters Back

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