The Execution Protocol: Inside America's Capital Punishment Industry

Stephen Trombley, Author
Stephen Trombley, Author Crown Publishing Group (NY) $20 (342p) ISBN 978-0-517-59113-0
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
Paperback - 342 pages - 978-0-385-47178-7
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In 1991 filmmaker-journalist Trombley investigated the official U.S. process (or protocol) for executing convicts sentenced to death. He interviewed Fred Leuchter, the inventor of a lethal injection machine used in several states, who told of botched executions and of how to execute a person ``properly'' when using gas or injection. (Leuchter's motto is ``capital punishment, not capital torture.'') At Missouri's Potosi Correctional Center, where ``death row'' inmates are housed with lifers, Trombley spoke with administrators, security staff, doctors, chaplains and counselors involved in carrying out executions. He also talked with prisoners sentenced to death, most of whom seemed able to face their situation more squarely and insightfully than the officials, on the basis of the little that they reveal about their personal reactions to their work. Trombley's report, the basis for a documentary film of the same name as the book's title, is all the more thought-provoking and chilling for being written in a straightforward, non-judgmental manner. Photos not seen by PW. (Nov.)
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