People's Republic of Kalifornia: Leathal Injection Unconstitutional

ma71supraturbo

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#1
I guess we're supposed to go back to the electric chair, gas chamber, and gallows...







San Jose San Jose Mercury News
(MCT)
SAN JOSE, Calif. - California must fix its "broken" lethal injection procedures before the state can resume executions on the nation's largest death row, a federal judge in San Jose ruled Friday.
In a 17-page decision, U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel stressed that California's execution method "can be fixed." But the judge concluded that there are such serious problems in the way California carries out executions - from poor training of execution team members to sloppy handling of the fatal cocktail of drugs - that the state's current procedures violate the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
"Given that the state is taking a human life," Fogel wrote, "the pervasive lack of professionalism" in the execution system "is deeply disturbing."
The judge's order, considered one of the sharpest denunciations of a state's lethal injection method to date, came the same day Florida Gov. Jeb Bush declared a moratorium on executions because of a botched lethal injection there earlier this week. Lethal injection, once considered the most humane, antiseptic way of executing condemned murderers, has come under increasing attack in death penalty states across the country.
In the California case, Fogel made it clear that lethal injection can be a constitutional method of execution, but he instructed the state to devise sweeping changes to its procedures to ensure that death row inmates are not exposed to the likely possibility of experiencing a cruel death during an execution.
Fogel challenged Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to present a plan that would add enough safeguards to allow executions to resume. The case, he said, "presents an important opportunity for executive leadership."
But for now, the judge's decision postpones executions in a state with more than 650 death row inmates and sides with condemned killer Michael Morales, who pressed the legal challenge to California's lethal injection procedures.
California officials have insisted that the state's lethal injection procedures, while needing improvement, are constitutional. Schwarzenegger's office had a limited response to Fogel's decision.
"As the ruling provides, the administration will review the lethal injection protocol to make certain the protocol and its implementation are constitutional," Andrea Hoch, the governor's legal affairs secretary, said in a statement. "Gov. Schwarzenegger will continue to defend the death penalty."
The 47-year-old Morales, on death row for the 1981 rape and murder of 17-year-old Terri Winchell of Lodi, Calif., was hours from execution last February when he got a reprieve to pursue his legal challenge to lethal injection.
When the state could not comply with Fogel's conditions for allowing the Morales execution to proceed, including having a doctor monitor the inmate, the judge effectively put executions on hold so he could consider the constitutional claims against the method. Other California inmates have filed eleventh-hour challenges to lethal injection in recent years, but the courts declined to intervene because the cases were brought too late in the process.
With Fogel's ruling, Morales' lawyers said Schwarzenegger should not wait for more intervention in the courts and take a cue from Florida's governor by suspending executions until the lethal injection procedures can be overhauled. Bush put a halt to executions after a lethal injection took 34 minutes - twice as long as it should - because prison officials inserted needles clear through the vein of inmate Angel Diaz, requiring a rare, second dose of the lethal chemicals. Florida, like California and most death penalty states, administers a fatal three-drug cocktail to death row inmates.
"It's really up to them to fix the problems," John Grele, one of Morales' lawyers, said of the governor's office. "It's not up to us and it's not up to the judge."
Legal experts consider the California case crucial because of the unprecedented amount of evidence presented, raising the possibility Morales' challenge could ultimately force the U.S. Supreme Court to settle whether lethal injection passes constitutional muster. The Supreme Court has never outlawed a method of execution.
Since last spring, Fogel has accumulated a wealth of evidence from both sides, holding a weeklong hearing in September to hear hours of testimony on the pros and cons of California's system of executing inmates.
Morales' lawyers have argued that California's lethal injection procedure has few safeguards to ensure an inmate is put to death humanely, offering testimony from former San Quentin execution team members who admitted they were never trained to carry out the grim task.
The central argument against the state's procedure is that the combination of three drugs masks the potential for the inmate to experience excruciating pain during an execution. In particular, critics have warned that the first drug may not succeed in rendering an inmate fully unconscious and that the second drug, pancurium bromide, masks evidence that the final and fatal drug, potassium chloride, causes searing pain before death.
At various points in Friday's ruling, Fogel expressed frustration with the state's approach to executions and its lackluster response to the judge's invitation to offer solutions earlier in the case. The judge called the state's recent reluctance to cure problems "self-defeating" if it wants to enforce the state's death penalty.
Dane Gillette, the senior assistant attorney general representing the state, said the judge's decision could be an opportunity to fix problems and avoid more litigation in the appeals courts. The state has 30 days to report back to Fogel on whether it plans to defend the current procedure or explore alternatives.
The judge singled out five problems in the execution protocol: unreliable screening of execution members before they handle the task, noting one example of a San Quentin guard put in the job despite already suffering from stress disorders; lack of meaningful training and oversight, which was acknowledged in testimony from execution team members; unreliable record-keeping on what happens in executions; improper mixing of the three drugs; and an antiquated, cramped death chamber which was designed as a gas chamber, not for lethal injections.
Fogel also expressed concern about the state's effort last spring to upgrade its lethal injection protocol in a brief meeting in the governor's office. The judge said the state must do more than merely "tweak" its procedure in a "brief meeting" to make it constitutional.
"He's putting the problem with the right source," said Deborah Denno, a Fordham University law professor and expert on lethal injection. "It's clear lethal injections are not going to happen in California until much more is done with the procedures."
 

foreverpsycotic

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i think that a .45 to the head is alot cheaper, and should be used on those with death sentances. screw the years of waiting for it to happen. you lose, lose your appeals, bring em out back and blow em away
 

Jayhall

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#4
foreverpsycotic said:
i think that a .45 to the head is alot cheaper, and should be used on those with death sentances. screw the years of waiting for it to happen. you lose, lose your appeals, bring em out back and blow em away
i agree, what ever happened to the good old fashon fireing squad. I wish we had the death penalty in canada, maybe people would think about that before they did stupid shit. Some guy in Alberta, got 17 years for killing his wife and un-born child, thats sick, he should be dead
 
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lanky189

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the death penalty does not dissuade criminals from commiting a crime...its a punishment..not a forewarning.
 

Jayhall

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#6
lanky189 said:
the death penalty does not dissuade criminals from commiting a crime...its a punishment..not a forewarning.
Things are a little differant up here, you kill someone, you get 15 years MAX, elagble for parole in 6 years. I think if they were to bring in tougher laws, the threat of a serious punishment would dissuade them
 

Nick M

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Even the most liberal poli-sci proffessors I had would admit that the death penalty is fully constitutional. This is because you can debate the cruelty of killing somebody, but not the unusal part. It has to be cruel and unusual to be unconstitutional, not cruel or unusual. And capital punishment is not unusual. It is fairly common around the world.
 

MDCmotorsports

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#8
foreverpsycotic said:
i think that a .45 to the head is alot cheaper, and should be used on those with death sentances. screw the years of waiting for it to happen. you lose, lose your appeals, bring em out back and blow em away
I agree.

Cheap. Painless. Quick.
 

MDCmotorsports

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#11
bigunitpitcher22 said:
I'm going to be that guy.
The one that no one likes.
The one that says: What if they live?:evil2:
.306 / 7.65mm / 45 to the frontal lobe is 99.99% death.

You'd have to be made of steel to survive.