California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation - Lethal Injection Table at San Quentin

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation - Lethal Injection Table at San Quentin

The lethal cocktail consists of three drugs: Sodium Thiopental, Pancuronium Bromide, and Potassium Chloride. They are given to the inmate in sequential order. The Sodium Thiopental is a common anesthetic that causes unconsciousness to the inmate in just a few seconds. The Pancuronium Bromide is a muscle relaxer that paralyzes the lungs and diaphragm and finally the Potassium Chloride stops the heart, and therefore causes death by cardiac arrest. The death of the inmate usually happens about seven minutes after the process begins. The drugs are not mixed together before the injection because the administration of the lethal cocktail must be given in sequential order so it minimizes physical pain to the inmate during the process.

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