Death row inmate gets reprieve over new lethal drug

| 05/04/2011

(AP): The U.S. Supreme Court has blocked the first scheduled execution of a Texas death row inmate using pentobarbital. Cleve Foster was to have been executed Tuesday evening for the 2002 slaying of a Sudanese woman in Fort Worth — the first Texas execution since the state switched to pentobarbital in its lethal three-drug mixture. On Tuesday morning, the high court agreed to reconsider its January order denying the 47-year-old’s appeal. That appeal raised claims of innocence and poor legal help during his trial and early stages of his appeals. Foster’s lawyers also argued that Texas prison officials violated administrative procedures when they announced the switch to pentobarbital from sodium thiopental.

There is a national shortage of sodium thiopental, which has been used already in executions in Oklahoma and Ohio.

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  1. Just Commentin' says:

    What’s the damn fuss? Who needs a fancy drug cocktail to off these swine? Executions are way too antiseptic and drab these days in contrast to the times when the gallows, firing squad and guillotine were the executioner’s accouterments. There are no fist-pump moments anymore when it comes to a murder meeting his ultimate fate. No final scenes, where a detached head falling into the basket, or the crack of rifles and blood spattering on the wall, or the sound of a neck snapping and those final jerky spasms make justice actually appear to have been done. We need to bring those “Oh yeahhh!” moments back.

    My solution is to execute murderers using whatever method they used to kill their victims. Sounds fair to me. And would make things a lot more interesting. You might even consider asking for volunteer executioners from among the victims loved ones and friends. People might start paying more attention to executions and crime in general and this would be a good thing.

    Things could get kinda creative. Say a killer stabbed, shot, or clubbed his victim multiple times; accordingly, each volunteer (hooded for anonymity) could take turns getting in a few stabs, shots or thumps. (Criminals like serial child rapist-killers would be in for a long memorable day under my programme.)

    A nice touch would be a closed circuit feed of the execution to all inmate’s cells in all prisons across the country, so violent offenders can see where they are heading if they do not change their ways. The video could be fed to movie theaters and pay-per-view world-wide where viewers are charged to watch the execution. This would raise a ton of money. The proceeds could go towards compensating victims, assisting cash-strapped prisons, or other worthy causes.

    And just think of the money saved doing it this way rather than employing a physician and wasting expensive prescription drugs.

    While on the subject of executions, there are two things I have never understood: I cannot wrap my head around why the doctor swabs the injection area with antiseptic prior to installing the lethal drug delivery lines? (Are they afraid the condemned person gets an infection and dies, or what?) And I fail to fathom why they prohibit death row inmates from having shoe laces or other potential implements of suicide in their cells. Are officials concerned that the inmate might not leave death row alive? Somehow I am of the opinion that leaving in a body bag is the point of being on death row. Silly me. (Am I missing something here?) Maybe they do it for much the same reason that kamikaze pilots wore helmets.

    This story blows my mind: Convicted murderer David Lee Herman slashed his throat while on death row in a Texas prison. He did it on April 1, 1997, a day before his execution. He was given emergency medical treatment and survived; the next day his treatment consisted of being given his lethal injection – and he died one day later than scheduled.

    Oh, well…I guess better societies kill people nicely and must do it according to plan. (But not my plan. Darn it!)