Monday, August 19, 2013

Don't Stop Till You Get Enough

States Improvise As Lethal Injection Drugs Run Scarce:
The decision by the Missouri Supreme Court to allow propofol, the same powerful anesthetic that caused the death of Michael Jackson, to be used in executions — coming at a time when Texas, Ohio, Arkansas and other states are scrambling to come up with a new drug for their own lethal injections — is raising new questions about how the death penalty will be carried out.

“The bottom line is no matter what drugs they come up with, despite every avenue these states have pursued, every drug they have investigated has met a dead end,” said Deborah Denno, a professor at Fordham Law School who studies execution methods and the death penalty. “This affects every single execution in the country. It just stalls everything, stalls the process.” 
Hell, just Beat It.
With manufacturers now refusing to supply corrections departments with the drugs they had been using for executions, some states, like Georgia, have been resorting to obtaining drugs from unregulated compounding pharmacies — specialty drugmakers — which death penalty opponents say lack the proper quality control. Other states, as they run low on their old stock of drugs and are unable to replace them, are turning to new, untried methods like propofol or simply announcing that they are searching for a solution.  
I realize this may sound Off the Wall, but if you want to read an excellent article on the lengths Georgia is going to obtain these drugs, and the extraordinary effort to keep it all a secret, read this.
On July 18, one day before he was scheduled to die, Warren Hill, a mentally disabled prisoner on Georgia’s death row, was spared from the execution chamber when a Fulton County Superior Court judge granted him a temporary reprieve.

It was not the first time that Hill, who has been diagnosed as having an IQ of 70, had faced imminent death. One year earlier, on July 23, 2012, Hill ate his last meal and said his final goodbyes as he prepared for an execution that was halted ninety minutes before he was supposed to die by lethal injection. Seven months after that, Hill came within thirty minutes of execution—he was sedated and strapped to the gurney—when a stay was granted. And on July 15 of this year, he was granted another temporary stay with less than four hours to spare, only for a new date to be set, for four days later. All told, in just under a year, Hill has come within hours of execution four times.
Smooth Criminal, eh? In fact, while much of Hill's ongoing appeals focus on mental retardation, another line of appeals is zeroed in the constitutionality of Georgia's Lethal Injection Secrecy Act, which is an actual thing the Georgia Legislature passed this past spring.
Under a new Georgia state law called the “Lethal Injection Secrecy Act,” the names of pharmacies that manufacture the chemicals used in lethal injections are now kept secret from the public.

Proponents of the law say it is there to protect the pharmaceutical manufacturers from protests and attacks. But at least one judge is questioning whether this new law is constitutional.

 The proposed law, which Corrections officials sought, would make the identities of those who make and supply the lethal injection drug a “state secret,” which means Georgia would have the discretion to hide the information.
The proposed law also makes a state secret the names of prison staff who carry out executions. For decades, the Georgia has kept the names of security staff secret. It would now shield the names of private doctors the prison system hires to carry out executions.
Won't see Behind The Mask anytime soon. Back in the old days, we just gave the executioner a hood. Now we give them "state secrecy" protection.

But don't worry, the get tuff all types are fighting back (hey, the kid is not my son).
“This drug issue is a temporary problem that is entirely fixable. It is not a long-term impediment to the resumption of capital punishment. It’s an artificially created problem,” said Kent Scheidegger, legal director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, which supports the death penalty. “There is no difficulty in using a sedative such as pentobarbital. It’s done every day in animal shelters throughout the country. But what we have is a conspiracy to choke off capital punishment by limiting the availability of drugs.” 
Shorter: pet tested, vet approved. You Wanna Be Starting Something, chump?
On Wednesday, the Missouri Supreme Court decided to allow executions using propofol to move ahead in October and November. There is no question that it would kill, but since it has never been used in an execution, death penalty opponents say, there is no way to say how much pain might be involved or what dose should be administered. 
Well, if the dude springs up off the gurney, grabs his crotch and starts singing "You Rock My World, Mizzou" you'll know it's all good.

Funny how much Michael Jackson and these states scrambling for drugs like junkies came to mirror one another...Man in the Mirror, Dangerous...I could go on.

Cross Posted to The Cranky Sociologists

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