I"m here today to talk to you about quite a controversial topic, a topic which most people have a very definite opinion of and a topic which stirs various emotions in people all over the world - the death penalty.

Most people have their own opinions concerning the death penalty which they acquire from watching films such as the "Green Mile" or reading newspaper or magazine articles about death row and executions. What many people in England, and other countries where they do not practice the death penalty, realise, is the scale to which the death penalty is still used around the world. For example, the death penalty is still used in 34 of the 50 states, and in over 100 other countries around the world. This is a chart to show the number of executions that have been carried out in the United States since 1976. (Passing around chart).

I"d just like to have a class vote. Who actually approves of the death penalty?.


And who is definite that they are not in approval of the death penalty?.


And which crimes do you think should be punishable by the death penalty, if any?.

I"m going to talk now about a few of the different types of execution that are used today. There are five main methods of execution used today in the USA. The most commonly used is the lethal injection.

Death by lethal injection involves the continuous intravenous injection of a lethal quantity of three different drugs. The prisoner is secured to a purpose-built table, as seen here (holding up picture), with restraints fastened around their wrists and ankles. A heart monitor and a stethoscope are attached, and two saline intravenous lines are started, one in each arm. The inmate is then covered with a sheet. The saline intravenous lines are turned off, and a variety of lethal drugs are administered until the prisoner is pronounced dead. Some say that the lethal injection is the most humane form of execution, others have different opinions.