Why do prison doctors sterilize needles before the last injection?

(ORDO NEWS) — The injection of the drug as a way to end the life of a sentenced person is used in some US states, Vietnam and China. But why then sterilize the needles and wipe the injection site with alcohol?

At first glance, it’s simple: hypodermic needles are sterilized at the time of production and come in sealed packages, so “dirty” needles would simply be more expensive. But why then wipe the convict’s hand with alcohol?

The fact is that a stay of execution can occur at the last minute. If that happens, and then the convicted person dies of an infection, a wrongful death suit could be filed against the state, a lawsuit that the state is likely to lose. Delays moments before executions, though extremely rare, are not limited to movies.

In 1980, James Autry was convicted of murdering a convenience store employee and a customer. In October 1983, Autry found himself chained to a couch, a needle was inserted into his arm, and a lethal injection was about to be injected through his veins.

At the last moment they called “from above”. The Supreme Court decided to postpone the execution for a month. The needle was removed and Autry returned to the cell.

He was still executed the following year. If Autry’s needle and arm had not been sterilized, he could have contracted an infection and died.

The prison would be charged with wrongful death. Of course, he still had to die, but he was sentenced to death by lethal injection, not dirty equipment.

Sterilization ensures the safety of not only the sentenced, but also the prison staff. If the condemned starts “kicking” while the needle is being inserted, the executioner may get hurt and get an infection.


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