I was watching a news story about the execution of Timothy McVeigh and was appalled by the fact that none of the news reporters seemed to know anything about lethal injection. One reporter even went so far to say a witness said that McVeigh "struggled to keep his eyes open as the lethal injection surged through his veins"!! I did a report on the death penalty and feel that it is the right and responsiblity of the public to know how our government is killing people. The following is from http://abcnews.go.com/sections/us/deathrow/deathrow_execut.html. It is the best article I have found. The website also talks about the four other types of executions used in the United States; electrocutions, firing squads, gas chambers, and hangings.
"A deadly cocktail drips from an IV into the convict's arm. Texas and many other states use a three-drug combination. The first drug, sodium thiopental, a barbiturate, renders the prisoner unconscious. The next, pancuronium bromide, a muscle relaxant, paralyses the diaphragm and lungs. The third, potassium chloride, causes cardiac arrest.
Many claim lethal injection is the most humane form of execution. But doctors say administering a lethal injection can be difficult, when the convicts have scarred veins. This is sometimes the case because drug abuse is so common among death row inmates. The federal government, the military and 32 states have used this method of execution."