Stop Using Untested Drugs on Death Row Inmates

Target: Rick Scott, Governor of Florida

Goal: Ban the use of etomidate and other untested drugs in executions.

Florida just executed a man with an untested drug, raising serious questions about human rights in the sunny state. Mark Asay was executed with a cocktail of the anesthetic etomidate, rocuronium bromide to paralyze him, and the heart-stopping chemical potassium acetate. This was the first time etomidate has ever been confirmed to have been used in an execution anywhere in the world. It was also the first time potassium acetate was used in Florida, and just the second time it was used anywhere in the US for an execution.

The use of these unusual drugs comes after years of complaints by pharmaceutical companies, who have grown increasingly uncomfortable with their products being used in executions. Ahead of Asay’s execution, Johnson & Johnson expressed opposition to Florida’s use of etomidate, which was first manufactured by the company half a century ago. Even a high-ranking judge has condemned the move, with Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente accusing the state of using Asay like “the proverbial guinea pig.”

Irrelevant of your views on the death penalty, we should all agree that nobody should be executed with an untested cocktail of drugs. As Pariente argued, this practice looks a lot like cruel and unusual punishment, and has no place in a civilized society. Please sign our petition demanding Florida commit to never using such a cocktail again.


Dear Governor Scott,

Florida recently executed inmate Mark Asay with an untested mix of chemicals. For the first time, the state used etomidate and potassium acetate in a lethal injection. This method of execution was untested, and could have led to any number of horrific outcomes.

Death row inmates aren’t guinea pigs to be experimented on. Many, such as Asay, have committed horrific crimes, but this isn’t a discussion about the actions of the convicted. Instead, today’s controversy is about our standards for ourselves, and the values of a civilized society.

The Constitution bans cruel and unusual punishment, and Asay’s death certainly seemed unusual. Perhaps the next untested drug cocktail will be even more unusual, and possibly cruel. We therefore demand you call for a ban on such untested chemical cocktails on death row inmates, and commit to improving human rights in Florida.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: PhotoLizM

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  1. sandra mason says:

    I would rather they used death row inmates than innocent animals.


  3. Jenna Miles says:

    Don’t test it on animals either. I resent them calling him a guinea pig, almost as if this would be acceptable to do to a guinea pig.

  4. Gen Lovyet Agustsson says:

    stop using drugs on people. period!

  5. Mike e9rMF2a says:

    They should be so lucky! I’ve worked with abandoned animals for many years and have had to take many in to be euthanized; usually because of cancer. When the drugs are injected they simply relax and fall asleep in my arms. I hope to leave this world in that fashion. I’m jealous that our pets can be humanely treated while people are forced to suffer in hospitals or hospices as long as medically possible. If they are to kill a prisoner this is by far the mostly humanely means possible. I usual feel they should be treated the way they treated their victims.

  6. Nooshin Perla says:

    Are you people CRAZY?? People in jail that are going to be killed. They deserve what comes to them. You are saying hurt innocent loving animals for what?????? So the damn killer or rapist be killed safely. What??????? MY GOD.

  7. This is not a good petition! Who cares about those monsters have you seen the people that make it to death row? I wish more horrible humans can be sent there to be real guinea pigs and that they get all kinds of drugs tested on them!

  8. Robert Ortiz says:

    Regardless of their criminal/incarceration status, bottom line they are human beings and should not be used as test subjects.

  9. Dear Governor Scott,

    I assume all people know by know that child abuse is what creates criminals, so society should try to reduce crime by reducing abuse and increasing compassion.
    At the very least, you can apply the American Christian value of mercy in the application of punishments. I would like to ask you to please work harder to find drugs which will enforce the punishment without unnecessary added abuse in the criminal’s life. How authority figures treat people sets an example which most people cannot resist. People who were abused when they were children are angry and callous enough. If society can make criminals feel that they are considered humans in a Christian country, maybe therapy can start to work to retrain people. (schema therapy)
    Thank you for your time.

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