As we reported earlier today, Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore has close personal and financial ties with Michael Peroutka, the neo-Confederate activist and theocrat who has helped develop the view, espoused by Moore in recent interviews and statements, that states must defy federal court rulings in favor of marriage equality since they are in violation of divine law.
Peroutka is a “true Confederate” activist and a former leader of the League of the South , although he quit the neo-Confederate group last year during his successful campaign to win a seat as a Republican on Anne Arundel County, Maryland, county council.
Warren Throckmorton notes, just today announced that on April 14 it will host a celebration of the anniversary of the “execution of the tyrant Abraham Lincoln.”
League of the South President Michael Hill writes in a blog post titled “Honoring John Wilkes Booth” that the organization “thanks Mr. Booth for his service to the South and to humanity”:
US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has famously referred to execution by lethal injection as an “enviable…quiet death.” Clayton Lockett’s death was anything but quiet.
In April, Lockett’s execution in Oklahoma was badly botched and brought new scrutiny to the problems with lethal injection. The state’s Republican governor, Mary Fallin, ordered the Oklahoma Office of Public Safety (OPS) to conduct an internal inquiry into the execution. A summary was released Thursday.
The investigation, conducted largely by a bunch of investigators working for the state highway patrol, didn’t produce much new information. The report mostly absolves the state of responsibility, even as it further documents the torture inflicted on Lockett before he died. It sheds no light on the effectiveness of the new, controversial, and experimental drugs used to kill Lockett—drugs that had been predicted to cause a torturous death.
But buried in the report are some of the rarely seen minutiae involved in the machinery of death, the small absurdities of a government-sanctioned killing—the pre-execution shower, the mental-health consultations, and suicide prevention efforts—all directed at someone about to die. And inside the report is the story of a real dead man walking who clearly didn’t view lethal injection as the enviable death Scalia thinks it is.
Before his execution, Lockett had been one of two inmates challenging Oklahoma’s law that shrouded the source of the state’s lethal injection drugs in secrecy. He’d been unable to obtain any information about where the drugs came from, whether they were legally obtained, or any other details about their purity or efficacy.
All of these issues were relevant because, thanks to a shortage of traditional execution drugs caused after pharmaceutical companies either stopped making or refused to export them, death penalty states have turned to a number of dubious means to find substitutes. Some have illegally imported them from questionable pharmacies abroad; others have turned to lightly regulated compounding pharmacies, some of which are known to have produced contaminated or irregular products. And states have been experimenting with new drugs never used in executions before. That’s what Oklahoma planned to do. Not only would it not disclose the source of the execution drugs, but it planned to use an untested drug cocktail on Lockett.
Despite all of this, the state assured Lockett’s lawyers that everything would be fine; his execution would not involve any undue suffering that might rise to the level of cruel and unusual punishment. It seems clear from the OPS report, though, that Lockett didn’t believe them.
The report confirms earlier indications that Lockett was trying to find a way to kill himself before the state could. According to the report, Lockett refused to cooperate with his executioners. At 5 a.m. on the day of his execution, correctional officers sought to take Lockett for X-rays at the health center. (Why X-rays are part of the execution protocol is not explained.)
Lockett refused to get out from under his blanket and offer up his hands to be restrained. Corrections personnel at that point noticed blood inside the cell. They sought permission to use a Taser to forcibly extract Lockett from his cell, where Lockett had blocked the door.
When they finally got him out of his cell, prison staff discovered Lockett was suffering from self-inflicted wounds to his arms, and they found razor blades from a prison-issued safety razor and a homemade rope inside his cell. The report offers other evidence that suggests Lockett was preparing for suicide: About six weeks before his execution, Lockett had been suspected of hoarding hydroxyzine, an anti-anxiety medication he’d been prescribed. After he died, an autopsy showed potentially toxic levels of the drug in his system, suggesting he also attempted an overdose before he was executed.
Lockett was treated in the emergency room for the wounds on his arms. For much of the rest of the day, he seems to have been on suicide watch to prevent him from dying prematurely. He refused every meal, and he also refused to talk to his lawyers. Toward the end of the day, a mental-health staff member met with him, and then near 5 p.m., officers put him in the shower—hoping for a clean kill, if not a quiet one, perhaps.
More at Mother Jones. WARNING: Details are horrific.
An execution team violated state execution policy by injecting Joseph Wood with 15 doses of a lethal drug combination, the inmate’s attorney said.
Wood’s attorney, Dale Baich, said the Department of Corrections’ execution protocol, or policy, allows for a second dose if the inmate is still conscious three minutes after the first dose.
“What they’re saying is he was unconscious and they kept giving him more,” Baich said.
According to the injection log, Wood was given the first dose at 1:52 p.m. on July 23 and was confirmed sedated five minutes later. By 2:30 p.m. Wood had been given his fourth dose and was confirmed sedated on each of his previous injections.
Wood was given his 15th dose three minutes before he was pronounced dead at 3:49 p.m., according to the logs, which were provided to Baich by the department.
A department spokesman did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
The execution has already received worldwide attention because it took nearly two hours for Wood to die, and he appeared to be gasping and snorting most of the time. All other Arizona lethal injection executions have not lasted more than 15 minutes.
Department director Charles Ryan was on the telephone with the assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Zick in the minutes before Wood was declared dead talking about a contingency plan and “proceeding with the execution,” according the logs.
Zick was also on the phone with Judge Neil V. Wake of U.S. District Court in Phoenix at the same time as Wood’s attorneys were trying to stop the execution.
Each dose contained 50 milligrams each of midazolam, a sedative, and hydromorphone, a painkiller. Dr. David Waisal, a Harvard University professor and anesthesiologist, said midazolam is generally given in doses of two to four milligrams to patients going under surgery to calm their nerves and make them forget going to surgery.
Read more: azcapitoltimes.com
On Tuesday, an Oklahoma inmate named Clayton Lockett was slowly tortured to death after a botched execution left him conscious and convulsing while strapped to a gurney. He eventually died of a heart attack 43 minutes into this ordeal.
Oklahoma state Rep. Mike Christian (R), however, apparently sees no problem with Lockett’s slow and painful death. According to a local news report, Christian said that he doesn’t care if inmates are killed by lethal injection, electrocution, a firing squad, a hanging, the guillotine or “being fed to the lions.”
Christian is also not alone in his willingness to revive discarded methods of execution in order to ensure that state-sponsored killings move forward. States that still execute inmates have had trouble obtaining the drugs they previously used for this purpose due to pharmaceutical companies refusing to sell these drugs to be used in executions and foreign governments restricting their sale. As a result, many states turned to drugs of uncertain quality. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster (D) threatened to use a gas chamber to execute inmates. Wyoming considered resorting to firing squads. And the Virginia House passed a bill that would bring back the electric chair.
Forget the hangman’s noose, the firing squad or lethal injection: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un executed his uncle and a handful of the man’s aides by feeding them to a horde of 120 starving dogs, according to a shocking account.
Jang Song Thaek, the former No. 2 official in the secretive regime, was stripped naked and tossed into a cage along with his five closest aides.
“Then 120 hounds, starved for three days, were allowed to prey on them until they were completely eaten up. This is called ‘quan jue’, or execution by dogs,” according to the Straits Times of Singapore. The daily relied on a description of the execution in a Hong Kong newspaper that serves as the official mouthpiece of China’s government.
OK, so this report comes via a Chinese government newspaper, so we should remain skeptical. Still:
“The entire process lasted for an hour, with Mr. Kim Jong Un, the supreme leader in North Korea, supervising it along with 300 senior officials,” the Straits Times said
I can only assume he did so while stroking a white cat and laughing maniacally.
The country’s 12 religious parties called the protests after the Friday prayers in nearly half a million mosques nationwide, demanding the execution of bloggers they say were behind blasphemous writings against Islam and Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
One person was killed during the clashes in western district of Jhenidah, district police chief Altaf Hossain told AFP, adding that hundreds of protesters also clashed with ruling party activists.
“The person, most probably a supporter of an Islamic party, died on the way to hospital,” he said.
Fierce clashes also occurred in the port city of Chittagong, the northern city of Bogra and dozens of other cities and towns where police fired rubber bullets at thousands of protesters, leaving scores injured, police and local media said.
In Dhaka violence broke out outside the Baitul Mukarram national mosque, where the protesters also attacked around a dozen journalists.
Police tried to thwart the protest by locking the gates of the mosque where thousands of people were performing their weekly Jumma prayers, an AFP photographer at the scene said.
Sayeed Khan, an emergency doctor at Dhaka medical college hospital, told AFP that up to 50 people had been admitted, most injured by rubber bullets.
“Several cases are very critical,” he said.
Tensions have risen in the Muslim-majority nation over the alleged anti-Islamic blog posts by Ahmed Rajib Haider, who was hacked to death last week near his home in the capital Dhaka.
Reuters) - India hanged Mohammad Ajmal Kasab, the only militant to have survived the 2008 attacks on the financial capital Mumbai, the Home Ministry said on Wednesday.
In August, India’s Supreme Court upheld Kasab’s death sentence over the attack on a string of targets in Mumbai that killed 166 people. Kasab was a Pakistani national.
“Ajmal Kasab was executed at 7.30 this morning,” Home ministry spokesman K. S. Dhatwalia said.
The execution at Yerawada Prison in Pune, near Mumbai, came just hours after President Pranab Mukherjee rejected a mercy plea by Kasab, who had said he belonged to the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba.
It was the first time a capital sentence had been carried out in India since 2004.
Three days before Independence Day, Milton Hall died in a fusillade of police gunfire outside a strip mall.
He had been arguing with officers in a parking lot next to a shuttered Chinese restaurant when he was shot, in full view of passing motorists and while he was holding some sort of knife. Saginaw County Prosecutor Michael Thomas said later that the squad of police confronting him opened fire “because apparently, at this point in time, he was threatening to assault police.”
Thomas’ office and the Michigan State Police are investigating Hall’s death. Saginaw Police Chief Gerald Cliff said Hall was “known to be an assaultive person” with “a long history” of contacts with law enforcement, “not only with police from our department but with the county.”
Hall’s cousin, Mike Washington, acknowledged Hall had been jailed for minor offenses like vagrancy in the past, but, “He was not violent.” And Hall’s mother is growing impatient with the probe and questions why police opened fire so furiously on her son, whom she said was mentally ill.
“It appeared to be a firing squad dressed in police uniforms,” Jewel Hall told CNN from her hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico. “There was another way. They did not have to kill him. He had not done anything. He was not violent. He was not a murderer. He was not a criminal.”
Watch the video. Unacceptable.
The website I saw the video at is not CNN who purchased the video. I have no idea about this website, but looked at it, it seems legit and on point.
Whatever. This is happening in our country so often. If there wasn’t video, we would never hear a word about it.
(Oh, when I filed this under “crime” it’s not meant to mean Milton’s, it’s meant to be the PD)
Cult leader Michael Ryan could be Nebraska’s first death row inmate to die of lethal injection now that the state has obtained a new supply of a drug necessary to carry out the execution.
Attorney General Jon Bruning asked the Nebraska Supreme Court on Thursday to set an execution date for Ryan, convicted in the 1985 murders of two cult members at a survivalist compound near Rulo, Neb.
“The State of Nebraska is prepared to conduct a constitutional execution and requests this court to order the enforcement of Ryan’s sentence of death,” said Bruning’s high court filing.
Because Nebraska previously had obtained one of three lethal injection drugs from an unlicensed source in India, the courts earlier this year blocked an attempt to execute another death row inmate.
But on Thursday, the Nebraska Department of Corrections announced it had purchased $5,411 worth of sodium thiopental from a pharmaceutical company in Switzerland.
The powerful sedative is no longer manufactured in the United States and can be difficult to find abroad. Nebraska recently acquired two batches of the drug totaling 485 grams.
“With the receipt of this chemical, (the state) stands ready to fulfill its statutory obligation with regard to capital punishment,” Corrections Director Robert Houston said in a statement.
When Ryan was sentenced in 1986, the state’s method of execution was the electric chair. But in 2008, electrocution was ruled cruel and unusual punishment, a violation of the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Nebraska lawmakers switched to lethal injection in a special session in 2009.
Austin, Tex — Texas, the state that executes more inmates than any other, said on Wednesday it will follow Oklahoma and switch one of its lethal injection drugs to a sedative often used to euthanize animals.
“It has been used by Oklahoma in their execution process, so there is a precedent there,” said Michelle Lyons, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. “Its use was upheld by the courts, so we’re confident it would be upheld by courts for use in Texas.”
The new drug, pentobarbital, will replace sodium thiopental in the Texas execution protocol. The change was necessary because Hospira Inc. of Illinois announced in January that it would stop making the anesthetic after Italy objected to Hospira manufacturing an execution drug in that country.
Since then, Ohio has also made the switch to pentobarbital, though its lethal injection protocol differs from that of Oklahoma and Texas. Ohio uses only pentobarbital while Texas and Oklahoma use a three-drug cocktail.