Executioners sanitized accounts of deaths in federal cases

This photo provided by the U.S. Department of Justice shows a vial of pentobarbital used in the executions of two inmates in July 2020, according to court filings. The photo was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington on Aug. 13, 2020, as part of litigation over the use of pentobarbital in executions. The government redacted part of the information on the vial, after arguing it didn’t want to disclose the supplier of the drug. Executioners who put 13 inmates to death in the last months of the Trump administration likened the process of dying by lethal injection to falling asleep, called gurneys “beds” and final breaths “snores.” But those tranquil accounts are at odds with AP and other media-witness reports of how prisoners’ stomachs rolled, shook and shuddered as the pentobarbital took effect inside the U.S. penitentiary death chamber in Terre Haute, Indiana.