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SCOTUS Stays Texas Execution

SCOTUS Stays Texas Execution

The movement may be glacial in speed, but slowly and surely this country is moving away from capital punishment.  Case in point: the Supreme Court granted a rare last minute stay for Cleve Foster, a Texas man who who was scheduled for execution last week.

The Court granted the stay because Texas had planned on executing Foster with a band new and untested lethal injection protocol.  Should the protocol fail to work Foster would suffer excruciating pain during the execution.

Typically states that use lethal injection employ a three-drug combination.  But one of those drugs, sodium thiopental, an anesthetic and first drug administered, is in short supply.  When Texas ran out of sodium thiopental the state announced with was substituting pentobarbital in its place.

The move was immediately challenged since there was no evidence that Texas ever engaged in any study of whether or not pentobarbital could or should be used in combination with the other drugs. 

That news comes as no surprise to those who advocate for the elimination of capital punishment.  A close examination of the Texas death penalty system shows the executions of humans is done in a fashion that is riskier, less transparent, and subject to less oversight than the euthanasia of dogs, cats, birds and lizards.

Advocates have called for a stay of all executions in Texas until the state legislature can enact measures that provide, at a minimum, the same protections to human beings on death row as it provides to animals.  With six more scheduled executions through August, now would be the perfect time for the state to conduct such an audit, though given Gov. Rick Perry’s almost gleeful approach to executions, such a move is unlikely.

 

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photo courtesy of analobb via Flickr

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35 comments

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9:36PM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

Kathlene Lentz says Apr 12, 2011 8:42 AM:
For every innocent person executed in this country, a charge of murder should be brought against those who advocate the death penalty.

I agree!! Let's start with the abortion clinics first!!!

9:35PM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

The pro-death penalty position isn't about reason, logic, mercy, or facts--just sheer bloodymindedness.

Susan S.: It never fails to astound me how "conservatives" can distort arguments and ignore facts. How do you get over the fact that all Troy Davis's accusers have recanted? I guess its news to you logic dropouts that namecalling does not substitute for truth.

3:08PM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

The US claims to be a nation based on Judeo/Christian traditions, so how can we practice state-sanctioned murder?

2:04PM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

There are too many innocent people who have spent decades in prison to keep the death penalty. I am all for life in prison with none of this t.v. and comfy bed nonsense. Give them beans and rice for 3 meals a day for the rest of their life.

1:26PM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

In response to Samantha: a good education costs a great deal less than time in jail and goes a long way toward ensuring that a person stays out of jail. (An observation from jury duty: ALL of the people in the jury pool room were reading; NONE of the accused were.) So let's start giving education the funding it deserves--K through university--and everyone will win--we will spend less on jails and fewer lives will be ruined.

10:46AM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

Geat news but does not fix the inherent problems in our justice system that leads to capital punnishment.

10:39AM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

We believe in the Death Penalty like N.Korea, Iran. Saudi Arabia. You know those great countries of Democracy.

10:34AM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

Our country is, & has always been, BROKE. No matter these bogus tax cuts, we will never be out of debt; taxes don't even pay the interest owed by the U.S. Therefore, for all of you who are against the death penalty, keep in mind that it takes $40K per year, per prisoner, to hold them in jail. Consider the Manson killers who have been in jail for over 40 years; add all of that up & surprise yourselves with the monies spent that come from your tax dollars.
You will one day have to give up your homes that prisons can be built to house these monsters. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the death penalty; if only it would speed up the very long process.
You christians, & I use the word loosely, against the death penalty need to go back to your bibles to understand that the death of a body is NOT the death of the spirit & soul that departs upon death. You are NOT your body & therefore will NEVER die. But, we are ridding this planet of the bodies that have done so much harm to another & will therefore never harm another. If you don't understand that, then you don't understand anything.

10:18AM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

Let the punishment fit the crime...An eye for an eye. Use the pink Juice they use to euthanize cats and dogs, if the reason they are using is that dogs and cats are treated more humanely.

9:34AM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

The death penalty should be abolished. Too many innocent people have been executed. Once a person is dead, even if they are later found to be innocent, they can't be brought back to life. When he was writing the Constitution, Thomas Jefferson said that, "It is better that 100 guilty men go free than 1 innocent man lose his life." If a person is imprisoned and later found to be innocent, he or she can be set free and restitution made. That cannot happen once someone is dead.

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