Maryland Lethal Injection Regs for Public Comment

The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services recently proposed new regulations for lethal injection procedures.  Executions in Maryland have been at a halt since 2005, when a court of appeals ruling found that the execution protocols were illegally adopted.  If the regulations are adopted, they will move the state closer to resuming use of the death penalty.   These regulations have now been published in the Maryland Register, and they are open for comment for the next 30 days.

According to the regulations:

“Comments may be sent to Randy Watson, Assistant Commissioner, Division of Correction, 6776 Reisterstown Road, Baltimore, MD 21215-2342, or call 410-585-3300. Comments will be accepted through August 31, 2009. A public hearing has not been scheduled.”

These new regulations do not appear to address any of the major problems inherent in the use of lethal injection. Among many other things, the regulations propose that:

  • Executions would continue using a drug – pancuronium bromide – that is not even permitted for use in euthanizing animals. Medical officials have consistently warned that the combination of drugs proposed here may cause the prisoner a very painful death, and indeed several such botched executions using these drugs have occurred.  
  • A certified paramedic must be on duty in some capacity during the execution, either as a part of the execution or standing right outside of the area where the execution takes place.  A licensed physician would also have to be present.  These proposals could result in violations of AMA ethical guidelines

There are currently five men on death row in Maryland. While these regulations would not mean that executions would immediately start happening, it does mean that de facto moratorium on executions would end.

Resuming executions would be a huge step backwards for the state of Maryland. Despite a long fight in recent years, the death penalty still has not been outlawed in the state, though it has been restricted. But the current moratorium on executions, coupled with the historically infrequent use of the practice in the state, gives hope that Maryland is not far from joining the other fifteen states (plus D.C.) that have outlawed capital punishment.

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6 thoughts on “Maryland Lethal Injection Regs for Public Comment

  1. This is serious! If the moratorium ends, then five people would be at risk of being killed by the state, resulting in families of murder victims getting retributive justice while ignoring the pain that these inmates' families will undergo in executions of their loved ones. My heart breaks for both, and I will continue to pray for them, and to pray that our entire U.S.A. will be rid of state-sponsored death so that violence will be no more. :(

  2. This is serious! If the moratorium ends, then five people would be at risk of being killed by the state, resulting in families of murder victims getting retributive justice while ignoring the pain that these inmates’ families will undergo in executions of their loved ones. My heart breaks for both, and I will continue to pray for them, and to pray that our entire U.S.A. will be rid of state-sponsored death so that violence will be no more. :(

  3. It sounds like you're creating problems yourself by trying to solve this issue instead of looking at why there is a problem in the first place.

  4. It sounds like you’re creating problems yourself by trying to solve this issue instead of looking at why there is a problem in the first place.

  5. Your worried about this person whom, Raped, Cut, Burned, or Shot somebodys child, your baby your flesh and blood or wife or husband. Somebody that didn't deserve to die by this persons hands who will never walk this earth again. Do you think of there pain they went thru before they die. This person whom probably has been in jail before and released again and again by our judicial system thinking they learned there lesson. What if it was your family member would you still look at it the same? Human rights ! this person has no rights no respect for human life, his or her family already knows this person is no good if they are that close to them. This can't find a vein is rediculous. and if they have a little pain it won't be for long better than hanging like they use to do. and the tax payers money won't be paying for that one anymore…Also maybe the first offenders will get the hint this time and take it seriously when they get a secound chance

  6. Your worried about this person whom, Raped, Cut, Burned, or Shot somebodys child, your baby your flesh and blood or wife or husband. Somebody that didn’t deserve to die by this persons hands who will never walk this earth again. Do you think of there pain they went thru before they die. This person whom probably has been in jail before and released again and again by our judicial system thinking they learned there lesson. What if it was your family member would you still look at it the same? Human rights ! this person has no rights no respect for human life, his or her family already knows this person is no good if they are that close to them. This can’t find a vein is rediculous. and if they have a little pain it won’t be for long better than hanging like they use to do. and the tax payers money won’t be paying for that one anymore…Also maybe the first offenders will get the hint this time and take it seriously when they get a secound chance