[DP] FW: Wait!: The state should suspend executions
caroleadamsjohnson at hotmail.com
Mon Dec 22 16:25:29 CST 2003
>From: Rick Halperin <rhalperi at mail.smu.edu>
>Reply-To: TCADP-BOARD01 at yahoogroups.com
>To: TCADP-BOARD01 <TCADP-BOARD01 at yahoogroups.com>
>Subject: [TCADP-BOARD01] death penalty news----TEXAS
>Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2003 11:18:12 -0600 (Central Standard Time)
>Wait!: The state should suspend executions
>The U.S. Supreme Court says Texas can put Kevin Lee Zimmerman to death.
>The state shouldn't, at least not until the same court determines whether
>Texas' method of executing prisoners constitutes cruel and inhumane
>The Supreme Court stayed Mr. Zimmerman's execution last week, about 15
>minutes before he was slated to die. Too many questions surrounded the way
>Texas and several states put prisoners to death. The uncertainty rightly
>led the court to halt the proceedings.
>We're surprised the court didn't continue with that line of reasoning. If
>justices were unclear about the punishment last week, it seems they would
>be uncertain this week. It seems they would keep the execution on hold
>until the court determines whether the chemical injection Texas gives
>prisoners violates constitutional standards.
>5 of the court's 9 justices didn't see it that way, so the state now must
>determine whether to go ahead with the execution. We say the state should
>wait. Texas needs a final ruling on whether its mixture of pancuronium
>bromide with sodium thiopental and potassium chloride is permissible.
>According to a number of experts, the chemical solution doesn't keep
>prisoners from feeling substantial pain. It even could cause them to
>suffocate to death. And some vets say they won't use the chemical cocktail
>to put animals to death.
>It's hard to see how this form of executing prisoners isn't cruel. We hope
>the court agrees. And we also hope the court clears up the matter soon.
>Texas isn't the only state with doubts hanging over its execution chamber.
>Kevin Lee Zimmerman murdered and robbed. His acts were despicable, evil
>and heinous. But that doesn't mean the state should put him or anyone else
>to death until these questions are answered. Kevin Lee Zimmerman may not
>have believed in justice, but the state should.
>(source: Editorial, Dallas Morning News)
>The Dallas Morning News is correct in calling for the state to suspend
>executions in its Dec. 19 editorial ("Wait!).
>Courts in at least 6 states, including Texas, are looking at whether the
>usage of the drug pancuronium bromide causes suffocation and pain during
>executions, violating the 8th Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual
>punishment. Several scheduled executions across America in December,
>including 2 in Texas, were stayed by the US Supreme Court because of this
>The reality remains that there is no such thing as a clean or painless way
>to kill people, regardless of the methodology in use. Lethal injection is
>just as horrific a method as the firing squad, gas chamber, electric chair
>and hangman's noose. Lethal injection, as a method of killing people, was
>devised by Dr. Karl Brandt, the personal phsician of Adolf Hitler, and was
>first used to liquidate 10,000 "defective" children in Austria and Germany
>The courts are correct to begin questioning and challenging the idea that
>lethal injection is painless. This nation should also see the historical
>antecedents of lethal injection as a barbaric relic from the horrors of
>the Nazi era. Lethal injection, with any combination of drugs, is not "an
>evolving standard of decency." It is an affront to humanity.
>The Morning News urges the state to seek justice. This will only be
>accomplished when state sponsored executions are ended once and for all.
>Rick Halperin, President, Texas Coaliton to Abolish the Death Penalty, and
>(source: Letter to the Editor, Dallas Morning News)
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