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Monday, October 10, 2011

Top 5 Botched Executions of 2011-- in the USA

Today is annual World Day against the death penalty.  Amnesty International weighs in.   Here is a site that covers it all.     The European Union issues new call for worldwide abolition. For full historical context for this, and a probe of current trends, see my new e-book, Dead Reckoning (just $2.99).

Now here is an excerpt from new article at Reprieve on 5 botched lethal injections this year, right here in America.


September 27, 2010: Brandon Rhode is executed in Georgia, but his eyes remain
wide open. Doubts are raised over the way sodium thiopental was administered.
Dr Mark Heath declares in an affidavit: “If the thiopental was inadequately
effective Mr. Rhode’s death would certainly have been agonizing... There is no
dispute that the asphyxiation caused by pancuronium and the caustic burning
sensation caused by potassium would be agonizing...”


October 10, 2010: It takes several minutes for Jeffrey Landrigan to die in
Arizona. He is executed with sodium thiopental sold by fly-by-night British
drug company Dream Pharma. It appeared the anaesthetic may not have worked.
It took over 10 minutes for him to be pronounced dead.


January 27, 2011: Emanuel Hammond is executed. Hammond closes his eyes, and
then re-opens them later. Professor Sheri Johnson, who watched particularly
intently because she knew there were doubts over the British thiopental’s
efficacy, said “he closed his eyes perhaps ten seconds after the drugs started.
But then, some time later, he opened them again”. Professor Johnson added that
this was quite unlike three thiopental executions she had seen before, when the
prisoners closed their eyes very quickly and remained “totally still”,
apparently in a coma. Josh Green, a reporter with the Gwinnett Daily Post,
confirms that Hammond first closed, and then re-opened his eyes some time after
receiving the thiopental, while Jill Rand, a Florida nurse who became Hammond’s
pen friend, said she saw him move his lips.


June 15 2011: Eddie Duval Powell is executed by lethal injection in Alabama.
Powell closes his eyes. He then opens them again later. Seemingly confused and
startled, he jerked his head to one side and began breathing heavily, his chest
rose and contracted.


June 23, 2011: Roy Willard Blankenship is put to sleep by sodium thiopental,
but dies with his eyes wide open. In a sworn affidavit, Dr David Waisel,
Associate Professor of Anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School, states: “…I can
say with certainty that Mr. [Roy] Blankenship was inadequately anesthetized
and was conscious for approximately the first 3 minutes of the execution and that
he suffered greatly."

(source: Reprieve)

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