Autopsies Reveal Lethal Injections May Be Torture For Inmates : Consider This from NPR Lethal injection is commonly thought of as the most painless method of execution. But now many lawyers and doctors are looking inside the bodies of executed inmates and making the case that lethal injection could amount to torture.

To take a closer look at this claim, NPR producer Noah Caldwell and a team at All Things Considered obtained more than 300 inmate autopsies through Freedom of Information Act requests. It's the largest collection of lethal injection autopsies in the U.S. They found that more than 80% of the inmates may have experienced the sensation of drowning.

Read and listen to the entire investigation here.

In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.
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An NPR Investigation Into Lethal Injection: Why It Could Amount To Torture

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An NPR Investigation Into Lethal Injection: Why It Could Amount To Torture

An NPR Investigation Into Lethal Injection: Why It Could Amount To Torture

An NPR Investigation Into Lethal Injection: Why It Could Amount To Torture

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/922184616/922461486" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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NPR obtained 305 autopsy reports of inmates executed in nine states between 1990 and 2019. Nearly all autopsies were gathered through public records requests; several were taken from public evidence submitted in federal court cases. The states included Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Virginia. Nicole Xu for NPR hide caption

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Nicole Xu for NPR

NPR obtained 305 autopsy reports of inmates executed in nine states between 1990 and 2019. Nearly all autopsies were gathered through public records requests; several were taken from public evidence submitted in federal court cases. The states included Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Virginia.

Nicole Xu for NPR

Lethal injection is commonly thought of as the most painless method of execution. But now many lawyers and doctors are looking inside the bodies of executed inmates and making the case that lethal injection could amount to torture.

To take a closer look at this claim, NPR producer Noah Caldwell and a team at All Things Considered obtained more than 300 inmate autopsies through Freedom of Information Act requests. It's the largest collection of lethal injection autopsies in the U.S. They found that more than 80% of the inmates may have experienced the sensation of drowning.

Read and listen to the entire investigation here.

In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

This episode was produced by Noah Caldwell, Ailsa Chang, Brianna Scott, Lee Hale and Brent Baughman. It was edited by Sami Yenigun with help from Wynne Davis. Our executive producer is Cara Tallo.