The Definition of Insanity

Last night marked the first executions in this country since the horrifically botched execution of Clayton Lockett in April.

In case you've forgotten, it took Mr. Lockett over 40 minutes to die. He remained conscious, writhing in pain, as an experimental cocktail of lethal injection drugs failed to carry out their intended purpose.

And until last night, this country went seven weeks without subjecting someone to the same sort of medical experimentation.

We know very little about the processes or the drugs that Georgia used to kill Marcus Wellons and Missouri used to kill John Winfield last night. This isn't surprising: We still know very little about Mr. Lockett's execution. What we do know it that state authorities tried to hide all three of these death sentences behind a thick cloak of secrecy, attempting to obfuscate a process for putting people to death that is experimental at best and too often tortuous.

From the limited information we have, we know that executions have failed because the intravenous line placement was botched, there was improper or inadequate delivery of the sedating or pain relieving medication, or the drug itself appeared to be contaminated. Botched IV placement is a potential issue for any state, and both Missouri and Georgia use compounded drugs, which are at greater risk of contamination.

The secrecy cloaking the executions intolerably heightens both these risks. Georgia refused to give Marcus Wellons any information, including information about the training of the person placing the IV or the sources of the medication. We have no information that would shed light on why his execution was so prolonged.

Neither Marcus Wellons nor John Winfield was provided any details about the sources of the compounded drugs to be used in their executions. Mr. Winfield knew from public hearings that Missouri officials purchase the drugs in a manner equal to illicit drug deals: They drive across state lines, hand over thousands of dollars in cash, and bring the drugs back in secret.

These recent executions send the intolerable message that death row inmates are fair game for human experimentation in violation of universal human rights. Recognizing what American courts have thus far failed to see, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) asked the Missouri government to halt the execution of John Winfield until it could review the problems with Missouri's lethal injection practices. Missouri shamefully ignored the IACHR's issuance of precautionary measures, ensuring that any findings of violations by the IACHR will come too late to help Mr. Winfield.

After botched executions like Clayton Lockett's and Dennis McGuire's, the question is not whether there will be another botched execution, but when. Allowing this medical experimentation to continue without any public oversight amounts to insanity; carrying out more death sentences will mean making the same inhumane mistake over and over again.

And yet, tonight Florida is poised to become the next state to force a death row inmate to face a real and intolerable risk of torture during his execution. Florida should stop the execution and halt the race to the next visibly botched execution.

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How long did it take for him to kill his victim?


Go see Green Mile- movie--Tom Hanks.


Jails and prison systems are busting forth at the "Seems"--full of persons with life threatening medical conditions, disabled citizens and minorities...victims are placed with serious offendors...Persons with mental illnesses are not receiving medications nor treatment. It is totally inhumane. The so called nursing care is defunct--allowing women with advanced cancer to die and have heart attacks falling out of jail bunks and in-mates with multiple seizures. The criminal justice system is full of jaded law enforcement officers with little or not credentials nor training...IN honor of Nelson Mandella.....


Liberals and the Aclu care more for a murderer than for their victims who really did suffer. if only these same liberals cared for the unborn child in the womb before they butcher them.


Fire doesn't fight fire.


If you're talking about Clayton Lockett, it took over half an hour and he waited until she stopped breathing after burying her alive. Then he just SAT there listening to her cry until she stopped making all noise. Then he figured she was dead and left the scene.
While he was on Death Row, he tried to kill another prisoner and when they talked to him about it, his response was "I'm an assassin, it's what I do."
Like oh yes, he's just the pillar of the fucking community.
Incidentally, he wouldn't give a damn about all the people trying to make themselves appear as if they're superior because they "don't believe in killing anybody," he'd stab them in the back as soon as they turned it on him. That's how he would thank them for their effort on his behalf.

I don't really care that much if people decide they're going to play a game of "I'm superior to people who believe in capital punishment" but I have a major problem with the fact that they refuse to acknowledge, even in a nominal way, that the guy DID kill someone himself.
So how can they hate people who want him dead but they don't feel the least bit of disgust that HE wanted someone dead and took steps to make it happen?
That's a ridiculous paradox in my NOT-so-humble opinion.


I don't remember hearing anything about the people he killed at the time of their deaths.
Wonder why? Guess it wasn't news worthy?


I got through the article, and learned a few other details from using "google" and frankly this man that had to writhe in pain for 40 minutes got what he deserved. People like this are of no use to society and should be "put down." I have NO sympathy for this convicted murderer/rapist. They should get busy on cleaning the rest of these folks out of the systems for the new convicted murderers/rapist.

Vicki B.

To the people in the state trying to cover up future executions:

I don't know why you're doing that, but I think it's a dumb thing to do.
I'm FOR capital punishment but only when it meets the requirements Bob Shutt mentioned to us at the 2006 Parents of Murdered Children (and families of those who die by homicide) convention.
He said that certain criteria have to be present before you can even qualify for the death sentence, but I've heard since he said it of cases where it DIDN'T meet the criteria he mentioned, which is why I signed a petition that Harry Belafonte had on his Facebook page of a man who was being considered for capital punishment because a court psychiatrist told the jury that "blacks are more likely to kill people than nonBlacks."
That WASN'T one of the criteria for getting the death penalty and I have no idea why it was allowed to be entered at ALL since the JUDGE, of all people, should have known even better than I do what those criteria are.

If you guys keep on the way you're going, and trying to be all secretive about it, you're going to cause the demise of capital punishment and nobody will even need to help it along.

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