The Death Penalty

By Alana D., Ally L., Elias R., and Lizzey L.

Execution Gone Wrong

  • Clayton Lockett was sentenced to the death penalty, and was injected with a new drug, it took him 43 minutes to be pronounced dead. Soon after they injected him, Lockett started to thrash violently, then the doctor said he was “stopping the execution” because of a “vein failure.” After 25 minutes he stopped breathing, and they believed that he was dead, but he wasn't. He later died of a heart attack.


  • Pedro Medina was caught on fire during his execution. The blame for this incident was “improper application of a sponge” (the sponge wasn't wet). Pedro's burning flesh left a stench that had the witnesses gagging.


  • Raymond Landry was declared dead 40 minutes after being strapped to the execution gurney. 24 minutes after the drugs were injected, witnesses stated that the syringe went through his arm. After 2 minutes the syringe came out of his vein and started to spray deadly chemicals across the room.


  • With a drunk executioner, Jimmy Lee Gray was gassed for his execution. He spent 11 minutes gasping for air, and died banging his head against the steel wall.

Facts About the Death Penalty

  • 4.1% of people executed were later proven innocent after their death.
  • The death penalty now costs more than giving someone life in prison. This is mainly due to the great number of legal actions that have to be taken to ensure that the person being executed is indeed guilty of that crime.
  • States that don't allow the death penalty actually have a lower crime rate, which shows that the death penalty has no effect on crime that continues to take place.

Murder Rate and the Death Penalty

  • Just in 2011 alone, there was an average murder rate of 4.89% in states with the death penalty, but 4.13% of one in states without the death penalty, making that a 13% difference in murder rating
  • The most astonishing difference in murder rate between the two with states not using the death penalty coming out a whopping 46% below average murder rate in states using the death penalty-- 2005

According to the Constitution...

  • The eighth amendment states that “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

  • The use of gas chambers, poison and electrical chairs are all cruel and unusual punishments.

Rates of Death for Different Types of Executions

- Lethal Injection: 5 minutes to 2 hours

- Gas Chambers: 10 to 18 minutes

- Hanging: 4 to 11 minutes

- Electric Char: 2 to 15+ minutes

- Firing Squad: less than a minute

- Guillotine: less than a minute