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Showing posts from June, 2011

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No Second Chances: What to Do After a Botched Execution

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Ohio tried and failed to execute Alva Campbell. The state shouldn't get a second chance.
The pathos and problems of America's death penalty were vividly on display yesterday when Ohio tried and failed to execute Alva Campbell. Immediately after its failure Gov. John Kasich set June 5, 2019, as a new execution date.
This plan for a second execution reveals a glaring inadequacy in the legal standards governing botched executions in the United States.
Campbell was tried and sentenced to die for murdering 18-year-old Charles Dials during a carjacking in 1997. After Campbell exhausted his legal appeals, he was denied clemency by the state parole board and the governor.
By the time the state got around to executing Campbell, he was far from the dangerous criminal of 20 years ago. As is the case with many of America's death-row inmates, the passage of time had inflicted its own punishments.
The inmate Ohio strapped onto the gurney was a 69-year-old man afflicted with serious ailm…

Arizona executes Richard Lynn Bible

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23 years after 9-year-old Jennifer Wilson was brutally raped and murdered and left on a hilltop in Flagstaff, the man convicted of killing her finally ran out of appeals.
Richard Lynn Bible died by lethal injection at 11:11 a.m. Thursday in Florence for the 1988 murder.

Bible did not look at any of the approximately 50 people witnessing the execution, who included about 20 of Jennifer's family members. He appeared to be scared, taking several swallows and fidgeting before the execution.
His last words were: "I'd like to thank my family, my lawyers — love 'em all, and everything's OK. That's it." He did not look once at the crowd through the window.

Bible began to breathe heavily, then lay peacefully on the table as the sedative and then the lethal drug were administered beginning at 11:02 a.m. He was declared dead at 11:11 a.m.

Jennifer's parents, her older sister, and her two younger brothers held each other as they watched the execution. Her father,…

Death Penalty: Older but Not Wiser

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New report looks back at 35 years of the death penalty
35 years after the death penalty was reinstated by the nation's highest court, it remains a punishment inflicted as arbitrarily as a lightning strike, according to a new report commemorating the infamous anniversary from the Death Penalty Information Center in Washington, D.C.
The U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty on July 2, 1976; it had previously ruled the ultimate punishment unconstitutional because of its arbitrary and unpredictable application, writes Rich­ard Dieter, the DPIC's executive director. Unfortunately, all these years later, he argues, that is still true. In sum, he writes, the "experiment" of capital punishment has failed. Indeed, the report notes, the system discerning who receives the death penalty and who doesn't – and for what crimes – appears worse than random. For example, Texas – still by far the national leader in executions, with 470 under its belt since reinstatement – e…

Court delays Egypt brutality case verdict

Court postpones verdict on policemen charged over death of Khaled Said, whose case helped spark Egypt's revolution.
Khaled Said's death caused public outrage that paved the way for the January 2011 uprising.
The trial of 2 Egyptian policemen charged over the death of Khaled Said, a 28-year-old man allegedly fatally beaten in Alexandria a year ago, has been postponed until September 24, a judge told the court on Thursday.
Said died in June 2010, allegedly after being dragged out of an internet cafe by plain-clothes police and assaulted in the street, according to witnesses.
Pictures of his body, taken by his family in a morgue, caused public outrage that paved the way for Egypt's January 2011 uprising.
Young Egyptians used social media such as Facebook and Twitter to spread the message, and to coordinate protests in Cairo and Alexandria calling for an end to torture and impunity.
Facebook pages set up to express anger at Khaled Said's death would later be used to coordinate &…

Lundbeck Won't Pull Controversial Drug

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Danish drug maker H. Lundbeck A/S said Wednesday it will keep selling its Nembutal anesthetic in the U.S even though it opposes the drug's use there in lethal-injection executions.
Designed to treat epileptic seizures but also sometimes used to euthanize animals, Nembutal is being increasingly used in U.S. prison executions even though it wasn't meant for that purpose.
"We're doing everything we can to make sure the drug is used for the patients in the right way and trying to prevent misuse of the drug," Lundbeck's Chief Executive Ulf Wiinberg said. "The problem is that in the U.S., no one controls the end use of any medicine. Lundbeck's role is to be there for patients, and that's why it's still on the market."
He said Lundbeck is urgently looking into actively managing the drug's distribution there to ensure that patients have access to the drug, while also preventing its misuse. Asked if those steps will include "end-user clause…

Egyptian policeman sentenced to death for killing protesters

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The 1st Egyptian police officer sentenced to death for killing protesters during the January revolution remained at large Monday as the country braced for a summer of trials on the police brutality that defined President Hosni Mubarak's regime.
Mohamed Ibrahim Abdul Monem was sentenced in absentia late Sunday for the Jan. 28 shooting deaths of 23 protesters rioting outside a Cairo police station. The court's ruling was quickly affirmed by the nation's top Islamic cleric, Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, who reviews all death-penalty cases.
Abdul Monem told Egyptian TV over the weekend that he had killed no one while following orders to protect the police station. He said he would seek a new trial and accused the Interior Ministry of not standing by him. He has yet to explain why he hadn't appeared in court or why authorities hadn't apprehended him.
"The Interior Ministry abandoned my case," said Abdul Monem, who contended that he only fired into the ground in an attem…

Iran: Concurrent With Admission of Group Executions, 26 More Hanged Secretly in Mashad

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Local sources in Mashad told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that 26 more inmates were hanged at Vakilabad Prison on 15 June 2011. At the same time, the Prosecutor of Mashad Mahmoud Zoghi admitted to secret group executions and without mentioning the number of executions over the past 2 1/2 years, referred to “the high number of executions."
Zoghi acknowledged group executions while reporting the large number of drug trafficking cases in Vakilabad prison.
“With such a high volume of drug trafficking cases, the execution statistics are proportionate and foreign media unjustifiably exaggerate in this subject,” Zoghisaid.
The secret group executions were carried out against Iran’s laws, without the knowledge or presence of lawyers and family members of the prisoners. Neither the prisoners or their lawyers were served requisite papers from the Supreme Court upholding their death sentences. The prisoners were not informed in advance about the final confirmation or dat…

Saudi Arabia: death row Filipino may be saved by blood money

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The Saudi Reconciliation Committee (SRC) has announced that 37-year-old Rodelio “Don Don” Lanuza who is on death row and currently detained at the Dammam Central Jail could be saved from execution if blood money is paid to the family of his victim in two months' time.
“A member of the SRC told me on Monday that it took them six years to convince the aggrieved family to forgive Lanuza in exchange for blood money,” John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator, told Arab News on Tuesday.
Lanuza was convicted of and detained in November 2000 for killing a Saudi national in what he claimed was self-defense.
Monterona added, however, that Lanuza is worried that the aggrieved family may change their mind unless the money is paid.
“On behalf of Lanuza and his wife and 2 kids, Migrante-Middle East is calling on President Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino lll to raise the needed money,” he said.
He added that this is a good opportunity for him to prove his critics wrong in saying that…

Most Czechs support euthanasia, death penalty - poll

About 2/3 of Czechs support the possibility of euthanasia and the introduction of capital punishment, according to a CVVM institute's poll released today.
The poll showed that church-goers are often against euthanasia and the death penalty.
While also people aged over 60 tend to be more opposed to euthanasia, capital punishment has lower support among university graduates.
64 % believe that Czech legislation should make euthanasia possible, 27 % are against it.
Nearly 2/3 of the respondents would like to have capital punishment reintroduced and 1/3 is against the idea.
However, in the early 1990s, support for the death penalty was higher, being around 3/4 of the population.
The poll was conducted among 1115 persons over 15 in early May.
Source: Czech Happenings, June 29, 2011 _________________________ Use the tags below or the search engine at the top of this page to find updates, older or related articles on this Website.

Nebraska: Feds say no to execution drug

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State officials said Wednesday they are seeking a new supply of a controversial lethal-injection drug after determining that they probably can't use drugs obtained from an Indian pharmaceutical company.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration informed state corrections officials in early April that Nebraska lacked authority to import controlled substances such as sodium thiopental, a powerful sedative used in lethal-injection executions.
That led corrections officials and the Nebraska Attorney General's Office to decide that the state should obtain the proper import permits and seek a new source of the drug to carry out the death penalty.
The problem with the Indian drug purchase raises the prospect of further delays in the execution of double-murderer Carey Dean Moore.
Moore, 53, was sentenced to die for the execution-style murders of two Omaha cab drivers in 1979, but he has won several stays of that sentence over the years.
Attorney General Jon Bruning asked the Nebraska Suprem…

Mexico appeals to Supreme Court to spare citizen from death penalty

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The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to respond soon to an appeal this week by the Mexican government to spare the life of one of its citizens.
The Mexican government filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the Supreme Court Tuesday that demands Humberto Leal Garcia be given a reprieve from the death penalty.
He has been sentenced to die July 7 by a Texas judge after he was convicted in 1995 of raping and murdering a 16-year-old girl in San Antonio.
The Mexican government’s brief says the execution of Leal would violate the Vienna Convention of Consular Rights because he was not allowed to seek legal advice from his embassy before he was convicted.
The United States signed the treaty in 1969. Article 36 requires each participating country to promptly notify foreign embassies when their citizens are arrested abroad.
“The United States’ word should not be so carelessly broken, nor its standing in the international community so needlessly compromised,” the Mexican government’s brief says.
The bri…

U.S.: Executed prisoner ‘suffered greatly’, testifies medical expert

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A leading US anaesthesiologist has testified that a prisoner recently executed in Georgia, USA using a new lethal injection drug ‘suffered greatly’ during the process.
In a sworn affidavit, Dr David Waisel, an Associate Professor of Anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School, stated: “…I can say with certainty that Mr. [Roy] Blankenship was inadequately anesthetized and was conscious for approximately the first three minutes of the execution and that he suffered greatly.”
“Critically”, he added, eyewitness accounts stated that Mr Blankenship’s eyes “were open throughout”. According to Dr Waisel, his eyes should not have remained open after the injection of the anaesthetic pentobarbital, which Georgia was using in an execution for the first time. In response to opinions reported in the media that Mr Blankenship could have been ‘faking it’, Dr Waisel points out that “one cannot fake eyes-wide-open at death.”
Roy Willard Blankenship was executed on 23 June using the new execution drug pentobarb…

Yong Vui Kong: The Tenth Letter - Drugs and the Death Penalty

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Yetian,
You once asked me to write about drugs and the death penalty, but I said that I did not have the right to discuss such an issue because I myself have been sentenced to death because of a drug offence. Also, I had not really thought too deeply about this question.
You asked me again about this issue.
Everyone here has been sentenced to death. Most of them are sentenced to death for drug offences. There are some who are older, but most of us are young. They have all been through their trials and lost their appeals. Some are waiting for responses from the President, others are just waiting for their “time” to come. They all have their own stories.
My brother mentioned another inmate; his name is Chun Yin. I believe the newspapers have reported his case before. Every Monday Yun Leong will see Chun Yin’s father. Once, outside the prison, Chun Yin’s father even asked Yun Leong to sign his petition.
My lawyer Mr Ravi also mentioned him before. His story is like this: after Chun Ying’s par…

Anthony Graves continues campaign for justice

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A Texas man exonerated from death row last year shared a message of hope and advocacy with the Third Ward community Sunday.
"The very system that almost took my life for something I did not do still exists. Yet I am still hopeful," Anthony Graves, 45, told a crowd at the S.H.A.P.E. Community Center.
Graves spread the same message during a recent speaking tour in Germany, France, Sweden and Switzerland.
"I went to educate people about the death penalty and the flaws of our system," said Graves, who spent 18 years behind bars, 12 of them on death row, for the murders of a grandmother and five children in Somerville.
Click here to read the full article
Source: Houston Chronicle, June 27, 2011

Anthony Graves Wants His Name Cleared

It was a day of celebration for Anthony Graves. After 18 years of wrongful imprisonment and two execution dates, he will finally be compensated for the Texas injustice.

Govenor Rick Perry signed legislation in early June that will allow Anthony Grav…

Clemency board to consider death-row inmate's case

Arizona's clemency board is set to decide Monday whether to stop or delay this week's scheduled execution of a death-row inmate convicted in the 1988 molestation and murder of a 9-year-old Yuma girl.
Inmate Richard Lynn Bible's attorney is expected to raise doubts about his client's guilt and the evidence that helped convict him.
The Arizona Supreme Court already has turned down a request from Bible to delay his execution over arguments about the drugs being used in the execution, set for Thursday at the state prison in Florence.
Bible still has a request to delay his execution in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals so he can have more time to get DNA testing on hairs that were used as evidence in his trial.
Source: Associated Press, June 27, 2011 _________________________ Use the tags below or the search engine at the top of this page to find updates, older or related articles on this Website.

Iran: Judicial chief insists on use of public hangings

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The head of Iran’s judiciary announced today that “hoodlums and rapists” will be harshly dealt with by the legal system, the daily newspaper Ebtekar reports.
In its Monday issue, Ebtekar writes that Ayatollah Larijani told a meeting of justice department administrators: “Armed robbers and rapists have been hanged in public, and in the coming year our efforts will become even more serious.” He added that there will be no mercy in carrying out such sentences.
In recent weeks, several reports of gang rapes have made headlines in the Iranian media.
The head of the Supreme Court, Ayatollah Ahmad Mohseni Gorgani, previously had said that the head of the judiciary has charged the Supreme Court with expediting the files of “hoodlums and convicts who disturb the security and peace of the public."
Ayatollah Larijani had calculated that processing these files as swiftly as possible would help society.
“Certain delays in confronting hoodlums, rapists and disturbers of people’s peace and security …

U.S. Supreme Court reverses itself on death penalty

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Is the death penalty unconstitutional because it violates the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against "cruel and unusual punishment?" According to the U.S. Supreme Court the answer is "yes" -- and "no." In other words, "It depends."
In Furman v. Georgia, which was decided this week (June 29) in 1972, the Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty was unconstitutional and did violate the Eighth Amendment because it was applied in "arbitrary and capricious ways."
African-Americans and other minorities, the court noted, were much more likely to get the death penalty than whites, not only because of the color of their skin but also because (often a result of the color of their skin) of the quality of their legal representation.
William Furman, the defendant in the case, was a case in point. While Furman was burglarizing a home, he tripped while trying to flee and his gun accidentally went off, killing a resident. He was tried for murder, f…

Governor Perry approaching dubious mark for executions in Texas

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Rick Perry (left) became Governor of Texas in 2001, and to date has presided over 231 executions, more than any other governor in American history.

After the death penalty was re-legalized in the USA on July 2, 1976, Texas resumed executions on December 7, 1982, and to date, has put to death 470 condemned inmates, including 6 (of the nation's 24) executions this year.
Below is a list of impending Texas executions in the weeks and months ahead; please note that likely before the end of this year, Rick Perry will have presided over (more than) half of all people executed in Texas.


date/name of impending execution---------# executed under Gov Perry------# executed in Texas since 1982


July 7--Humberto Leal---------------------------------232----------------------------------------471

July 20---Mark Stroman-------------------------------233----------------------------------------472

Aug. 10--Martin Robles-------------------------------234-----------------------------------------473

A…