Monday, September 27, 2010

Capital Punishment: From the it would be funny if it weren't so sad file

Georgia executes man after suicide attempt

JACKSON, Ga. (AP) - A Georgia prisoner who tried to kill himself last week by slashing his arms and throat with a razor blade was executed Monday night amid heightened security for the 1998 murders of a trucking company owner and his two children.

Brandon Joseph Rhode, 31, was put to death by injection at the state prison in Jackson, Ga. He was pronounced dead at 10:16 p.m. by authorities. Rhode declined to speak any last words or have a final prayer.

He was convicted in 2000 of the killings of Steven Moss, 37, his 11-year-old son Bryan and 15-year-old daughter Kristin during a burglary of their Jones County home in central Georgia. His coconspirator, Daniel Lucas, was also sentenced to death in a separate trial and remains on death row.

Rhode's execution had been set for 7 p.m. His attorneys applied Monday afternoon to the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay of execution. The court rejected the appeals later that night.

Rhode had initially been scheduled to be put to death Sept. 21, but the Georgia Supreme Court postponed the execution after Rhode was rushed to the hospital that day following a suicide attempt.
Read the rest here.

California delays execution by a day; may be last for months due to a shortage of lethal drug
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday ordered a one-day delay in the execution of convicted rapist- murderer Albert Greenwood Brown, citing a procedural complication in the state's attempt to carry out its first death sentence in nearly five years.

The reprieve coincided with an announcement by the attorney general's office that further lethal-injection sentences in California would have to wait until at least next year due to a nationwide shortage of the key drug used to render condemned prisoners unconscious.

Lawyers for the state had advised a federal judge in filings over the weekend that the San Quentin State Prison lethal injection facility has only 7.5 grams of sodium thiopental on hand, and as much as 6 grams could be used when Brown is scheduled to be put to death at 9 p.m. Thursday. That is just a few hours before the drug's shelf-life expires Friday, according to court papers filed by the attorney general's office.

But the governor's order delaying the execution was attributed to an unexpired period for Brown to petition the California Supreme Court for review of an appeals court ruling that lifted a ban on executions. That Sept. 20 appeals court ruling won't take effect until Thursday, the governor noted in issuing the reprieve that he said would expire at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.

Brown, who raped and killed a 15-year-old Riverside girl in 1980, had been scheduled to be put to death at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.

If the execution is carried out, it will likely be the last in the state for months, due to the shortage of sodium thiopental that has forced other states to postpone executions as well.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation "has been unable to secure sodium thiopental to perform any executions after Sept. 30," said attorney general spokeswoman Christine Gasparac. "This office will recommend that future executions be scheduled when [the corrections department] expects the drug to be available."
Read the rest here.

Are they joking? States are halting executions because they can't get a lethal drug??? OK. Setting aside for a moment my opinion that capital punishment should be abolished, couldn't someone just go down to the local hardware store and pick up a length of good old fashioned hemp rope? Not only is it more utilitarian and cheaper, it's probably more humane.

The British had hanging down to a science. They could have a man on the trap and pull the bolt in less than sixty seconds from the moment the hangman entered the condemned man's cell. It routinely takes anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes to execute someone by lethal injection depending on how hard it is to find a vein. Longer executions although rare, are not unknown.

Speaking of which, am I the only one who ever wondered why they swab the condemned man's arm with alcohol before sticking the needle in?


Matushka Anna said...

Setting aside everything else (hard as it is), I have to comment that I agree with you about the alcohol. I guess it's just habit.

Visibilium said...

It's the humanity, man.