It is evident to this court that the Legislature has abdicated its responsibility and passed to the executive branch … the unfettered discretion to determine all protocol and procedures, most notably the chemicals to be used, for a state execution.Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Jim Gunter • Writing the majority opinion in a ruling that struck down the Arkansas Legislature’s move in 2009 to allow the director of the Department of Corrections discretion over what chemicals are administered in lethal injections for death-row inmates. The confusion over who determines how the death sentence is carried out in Arkansas has held up executions of the state’s 40 current death row inmates; no executions have taken place since 2005. It’s worth noting that Arkansas’s constitution says if lethal injection is determined to be unconstitutional, executions are to be administered by electrocution. Ouch. source (via • follow)
» A decline in the overall numbers: According to the Death Penalty Information Center, the death sentence number is the smallest since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. And public support is starting to fade: According to stats from Gallup, support for the death penalty is at its lowest level in nearly 40 years. Opposition is at its highest level since 1972. Keep this in mind when Rick Perry leads a crowd to cheers during a discussion about the death penalty. Or when cases like Troy Davis’ widely-contested execution build support against the death penalty.
revolutiontrainee asks: i want to call attention to your repost of 'what happens tomorrow', in relation to the execution of Troy Davis. to post/repost this suggests that everyday there aren't armies of individuals fighting for justice. yes, there may be some who came to the fight because of Troy or will leave tomorrow, but everyone needs a starting point. who dares to insult any fight for justice, despite its duration. awareness and understanding should be what we promote, not condemnation for engagement.
» SFB says: That post wasn’t for you or your armies. It was for the passive person who grabbed onto the moment. I’ve been on the Internet, I know how it works. We get easily distracted, no matter how awful the travesty is. (How much are we talking about Haiti right now?) If you really wanted to seize the opportunity, instead of taking it as an insult, you’d take it as a call to arms. There’s another time for hurt feelings. That time isn’t now. — Ernie @ SFB
Hopefully, today’s execution of Brewer can remind all of us that racial hatred and prejudice leads to terrible consequence for the victim, the victim’s family, for the perpetrator and for the perpetrator’s family.Clara Taylor, the sister of James Byrd, Jr. • Speaking of the execution of Lawrence Russell Brewer, one of the men responsible for the infamous hate crime that took her brother’s life. “We’re making progress,” she said. “I know he was guilty so I have no qualms about the death penalty.” This is in contrast to Taylor’s nephew, Ross Byrd, who felt it wasn’t the right move prior to the execution. Brewer was pronounced dead at 6:21 p.m. local time — or 7:21 EDT. His final words: ”No. I have no final statement.” source (via • follow)
» A last gasp: The Supreme Court’s decision is Davis’ final option — today alone, he’s offered to take a polygraph, he’s tried to appeal to the Georgia pardons board, he’s gone to the Georgia Supreme Court … and the U.S. Supreme Court’s move was a hail-mary play which had no guarantee of working. The court likely knew it was coming, though. Davis has knocked on their door before, and they’ve answered at least once — back in 2008, they gave Davis an opportunity for a new trial, but a federal judge didn’t go for it.
He said, ‘God is worthy to be praised. God’s mercy triumphs over judgment, and I feel good.’Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jason Clark • Discussing the reaction by Duane Edward Buck, the death row inmate whose sentence was stayed by the Supreme Court last night. He already had his last meal and was praying at the time. While the reprieve is only temporary pending the Supreme Court’s evaluation of the claims his equal protection rights have been violated, it nonetheless ensured that his last meal — a dish of fried chicken, fried fish, french fries, salad, jalapeno peppers and apples — might not be so final. source (via • follow)
climateadaptation asks: Re: Perry. Fyi, a gov of TX does not have the power to pardon. That graphic uses fuzzy facts...
» SFB says: But, as the Texas Tribune’s own article (published yesterday along with the graphic) points out, Perry appoints the people who make the recommendation which would allow him to grant clemency: “Lucy Nashed, a spokeswoman for the governor, said the governor can only grant clemency when the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles — whose members Perry appoints — recommends that action. He has only disagreed with the board three times when it recommended clemency in death penalty cases, she said.” To us, that sounds like he has significant influence over the decision even if the law doesn’t allow for a direct decision. — Ernie @ SFB
» More rights for death row inmates? Inmate Hank Skinner, based on this decision, will be able to file a civil rights lawsuit to get DNA material. It’s a narrowly-scoped decision, however, and one that only allows Skinner to claim that the state didn’t follow its own policies on acquiring DNA evidence. What does that mean, in layman’s terms? It means that inmates don’t have a broad constitutional right to acquire DNA material in court – a decision which would have much larger ramifications and give inmates a quite-large bargaining point in criminal cases (including the ability for their defense to independently test such DNA material). Still, though, it buys Skinner time.
This will be a challenge for [medical] customers and we regret that. But we don’t want to put our Italian facility at risk that the product will be misused.Hospira spokeswoman Tareta Adams • Discussing the company’s decision to pull a key drug used in lethal executions off the market. The drug, thiopental sodium, is widely used by prisons all over the country, but in the wake of manufacturing issues in 2009, they had to stop producing the product. They were about to restart production at an italian factory, but an order by that country’s parliament forced Hospira to agree not to allow the Italian-produced drugs to be used in lethal injections in the U.S. So now, American prisons will be screwed or forced to use other medications to do the same thing. In Oklahoma, the drug pentobarbital, usually used to put animals down, was used in an execution there after a court decision. source (via • follow)
Well, I’d like to say thank you to my family for being here and all my friends, and Boomer Sooner.Arizona death row inmate Jeffrey Landrigan • Making his famous last words before his death by lethal injection. “Boomer Sooner”? Apparently this guy lived in Oklahoma and was a big college football fan before being convicted in the murder of Chester Dean Dyer way back in 1989. source (via)