Independent Media Centre Ireland

US Supreme Court considers constitutionality of Lethal injection

category international | crime and justice | other press author Friday October 19, 2007 12:42author by halowe'en decorations - "we're not on uppers we can afford pumpkins"

"a quarter century of poisoning"

New York Times :- .........."The Supreme Court has granted two stays of execution and refused to vacate a third in the three weeks since it agreed to hear a challenge to Kentucky’s use of lethal injection. On Thursday, the Georgia Supreme Court became the latest state court to interpret the justices’ actions as a signal to suspend at least some executions. It granted a stay to Jack Alderman, who had been scheduled to die by lethal injection Friday night for murdering his wife 33 years ago. The top criminal court in Texas, a state that accounts for 405 of the 1,099 executions carried out in this country since 1976, has indicated that it will permit no more executions until the Supreme Court rules, sometime next spring..........."
& i'm not afraid to die -
& i'm not afraid to die -

......." The Nevada Supreme Court this week postponed all executions in that state. The governor of Alabama gave one inmate a 45-day reprieve. The country’s most recent execution took place in Texas on the night of Sept. 25, hours after the Supreme Court announced its review of the Kentucky case........."

..........."This sequence of events has led some death penalty opponents and other analysts to declare that a de facto moratorium is in place..........."

Of course there is no moritorium in place, but the US supreme court is strapping down the table again. Of the 929 deaths by lethal injection at least 40 were botched :-

(from Speigel) ......."the US death penalty debate has been given a new lease on life now that the Supreme Court is examining the question of whether the preferred method of execution, lethal injection, is in fact constitutional. The death penalty is still in force in 38 US states, and lethal injections are the preferred method. The death penalty is still in force in 38 US states, and lethal injections are the preferred method. Everyone thought the Lucasville, Ohio, execution was over when Joseph Clark suddenly raised his head and groaned: "It's not working!" Appalled, the executioners closed the curtain that separated them from the witnesses and hastily began giving the murderer a second poisonous injection. The curtain was opened again 35 minutes later, but the spectacle was not yet over. Clark tried to say something again and again. His 2006 execution took 86 minutes from beginning to death. Reports suggest US executioners have not yet mastered the technique of administering lethal injections. At a prison death chamber in Starke, Florida, for example, a convicted murderer strapped down in the execution chamber last year gasped for air "like a fish on dry land" before he died 34 minutes after receiving the injection...............,1518,511791....html

More immediate background :-
Supreme Court Grants Stay of Execution for Virginia Man Oct 18
Court stays execution in Nevada Oct 17

General background -

Campaign background -

______________Johnny Cash :-

It all began when they took me from my home
And put me on Death Row,
a crime for which I am totally
innocent, you know.

I began to warm and chill
To objects and their fields,
A ragged cup, a twisted mop
The face of Jesus in my soup
Those sinister dinner deals
The meal trolley's wicked wheels
A hooked bone rising from my food
All things either good or ungood.

And the mercy seat is waiting
And I think my head is burning
And in a way I'm yearning
To be done with all this
weighing of the truth.
An eye for an eye
And a tooth for a tooth
And anyway I told the truth
And I'm not afraid to die.

I hear stories from the chamber
Christ was born into a manger
And like some ragged stranger
He died upon the cross
Might I say, it seems so fitting in its way
He was a carpenter by trade
Or at least that's what I'm told

which is excerpted from Johnny Cash' "mercy"

included children, burning skulls, injections that didn't work, mentally handicapped people, heads that snapped off, even witnesses who vomited blood
included children, burning skulls, injections that didn't work, mentally handicapped people, heads that snapped off, even witnesses who vomited blood

Comments (3 of 3)

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author by -publication date Fri Nov 02, 2007 12:42author address author phone

72 states have joined to push for a universal ban on use of the death penalty, an update which goes here, for since the article was written above, the US Supreme court hasn't made a decision & no-one has gone to the mercy chair or table.

This motion at the UN is being talked up mostly by the Italians........"Two previous attempts to secure adoption of such a resolution in the General Assembly failed in 1994 and 1999. According to Amnesty International, 133 countries have abolished the death penalty in law or practice, while 64 countries and territories retain and use capital punishment, although the number of countries which actually execute prisoners in any one year is much smaller......"

The 4 states that execute the most are the USA, Iran, China & Saudi Arabia. The states that execute the most per capita are the USA & Saudi Arabia........coz they're holy.

author by Edpublication date Fri Nov 02, 2007 15:51author address author phone

Iran, China & Saudi Arabia would be considered to be close to the top of the league of countries
which have very poor understanding of human rights.
How ironic then that the USA, 'Land of the Free' should choose for itself such ignominious company.

author by -publication date Fri Nov 02, 2007 22:37author address author phone

Of course per capita the state of Iran executes the most of its citizens when considered as a sovreign state. But the states of Florida & Texas execute the most of their citizens & non voting black folk. I've to be careful with that bias. As this June 2004 article showed Iran leads the world in execution of children - & as background this article of April 2006 offered a link to the then upto date Amnesty 2005 report which showed "In 2005 over 2,148 people were executed in 22 countries, of whom 1770 were in China, 94 in Iran and 60 in the USA. 94% of those killed were in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the USA. An additional 5,186 people were sentenced to death. In those first four months of 2006, 8 children had been executed in Iran, joining the statistics of underage offenders executed since 2000, the complete figure then was 26, the majority of whom were executed in the USA. That little article also linked to the then accurate accepted list of 558 individuals held at camp delta in Guantanamo where many of the dodgy jets we complain about go to. Of course we still don't have a list of inmates at the other "dark facility" in Guantanamo. Odd that even now long after we have mostly become "unscared" of talking about the place, most people think there is only one camp there. This article also touched on the suspicions of a "shoot to kill" policy by Irish gardaí under the former minister of Justice Big Swinging Mickey mc dowell.

Anyway -

There do seem to be indications of a global slowing down on executions but not of death sentances. That might hvae been the result of the Amnesty October 10th "world no death penalty day" which lent momentum to the UN proposals reported in the last comment & helped gather over 5 million signatures at this petition (apparantly the web counter only goes up to 99,999 so each hundred thousand signatures brings it back to zero) -

Curiously though the death penalty is universally rejected in Europe, it is still found in constitutions & statute books as the penalty for treason or what is called "capital murder", I'd refer constitutional experts to the special little clauses which cover "wartime" or "emergency" military rule in most European states. Perhaps we could all get rid of those too..,

this execution of December 30th was the most watched display of warped justice. Typical stuff
this execution of December 30th was the most watched display of warped justice. Typical stuff

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