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Page last updated at 14:16 GMT, Monday, 17 March 2008

Lethal Solution

This World reports on judicial execution by lethal injection. It travels across the US to meet prisoners on death row, their families, doctors, lawyers and the judge in a key case.

Vivian White outside California State Prison
Lethal Solution
18 March 2008
1900 GMT on BBC Two

The Supreme Court is now considering whether the lethal injection - devised to be humane and painless - infringes the civil rights of condemned criminals, under the Eighth Amendment of the US Constitution which bans "cruel and unusual" punishment.

Meanwhile men on Death Row in many states across the US await the outcome which will decide their fate.

Reporter Vivian White journeys across the US exploring truly dark territory - the execution chambers where judicial executions by lethal injection are usually carried out.

He meets men on death row, the family of a man whose execution lasted 34 minutes, and a lawyer who witnessed this event and remembers it still.

He speaks to the judge in California who ruled that medically qualified people should be present as witnesses to ensure a humane death, only to have two doctors walk out of the execution chamber when they realised they might have to assist in the killing.

And he talks to the doctor who actually invented the system.

Reporter: Vivian White
Producer and Director: Steven Grandison
Executive Producer: Louise Norman

US court debates lethal injection
07 Jan 08 |  Americas


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