Washington Death Penalty News

Started by Guest, April 08, 2006, 11:23:07 AM

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Jeff1857

The March 31 resignations of a four-member execution team at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla appeared to have been provoked by the likelihood their identities would surface in a court battle over the constitutionality of injections. News reports indicated the four anonymous volunteers, who administer the injections to death-row inmates, quit their posts over concern attorneys for three condemned inmates could leak the personal information being gathered for legal challenges.

The reports may be only half right, says Paul Wright. It was likely because of him the team resigned, he suspects. And the four volunteers should be worried their names will be made public, since he might reveal them in his magazine. A former inmate who served 17 years for second-degree murder of a drug dealer, Wright (above) is now editor and publisher of Prison Legal News. He filed a public records request with the state Department of Corrections in January asking for the identities of those who participate in executions.


"The history of state murder is there's never a shortage of executioners. But if we are going to have the death penalty the public should know who its killers are," he says. A controversial figure who regularly challenges the state to release sensitive documents, Wright sometimes has to go to court over them, but successfully: he won a record $541,000 fine from the state in 2007 after officials illegally withheld disciplinary records of prison medical providers.

The latest request came after the resignation late last year of the department's top medical officer Dr. Marc Stern, who said it was unethical for him - a physician sworn to save lives - to supervise executions. Wright, whose publication has frequently reported on questionable medical procedures in U.S. prison, says, "Knowing doctors, I figured if one resigned, at least a dozen would be happy to kill people. Hence the records request."

In part, he wants to find out who on the team is a doctor. If any show up on the records he obtains, says Wright, "I will review their medical discipline, criminal and litigation histories, and see what turns up. And PLN will most likely alert medical licensing authorities to the fact that medical personnel are violating their professional and ethical responsibilities." And yes, he'll publish their names.

http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/dailyweekly/2009/04/behind_those_death_row_resigna.php

vikkiw47

i DO NOT AGREE WITH THIS AT ALL! HE SERVED TIME FOR 2ND DEGREE MURDER RIGHT! HE IS CRAZY AS HECK! I DO NOT THINK THAT INFO SHOULD BE MADE PUBLIC AT ALL. BOY HE HAS SOME NERVE TO SAY THE LEAST ! HERE IS PRAYING HE DOES NOT GET HIS HANDS ON ANY KIND OF INFORMATION . 
Justice is not about bringing back the dead. It is not about revenge either. Justice is about enforcing consequences for one's own actions to endorse personal responsibility. We cannot expect anyone to take responsibility for their own actions if these consequences are not enforced in full.

Aussie4DR

Quote

"The history of state murder is there's never a shortage of executioners. But if we are going to have the death penalty the public should know who its killers are," he says. A controversial figure who regularly challenges the state to release sensitive documents, Wright sometimes has to go to court over them, but successfully: he won a record $541,000 fine from the state in 2007 after officials illegally withheld disciplinary records of prison medical providers.

Idiot! By definition a lawful state execution is not murder.
I wonder what he did with that half million bucks?
Hypocrite!
Thanks for your time
And you can thank me for mine
And after that's said
Forget it.

TDCJDR

#18
April 10, 2009, 02:04:50 AM Last Edit: April 10, 2009, 02:08:10 AM by TDCJDR
The public already knows who the killers are.........  The ones that are on death row!!!!

Harold1253

AMEN, TD....The men are instruments of the state.  Their job is to do the actual administration of JUSTICE as mandate by the citizens of the State of Washington.  One of the wonderful aspects of our country (USA) is freedom of choice.  These men have made a choice not to be the administers of the final verdict.  If no one else steps up to take the reins, subcontract the job to capable people.   The people on the execution team are no more murders than pest controll professionals (termite-terminators) are murderers.  Termites and roaches undermine the quality of our lives and houses...murderers undermine the quality of life and stability in our country!

Barbara

Oh, how embarrassing to be a resident of the Evergreen State!  If some elected officials would get off their money spending backside and pay attention to the electorate, SHE would see the balance of the people are fed up with the delays and innuendo that we are handed on a daily basis.  The DP is only one in a long line of her failures.  We do not need to support these murderers.  We need relief from them and the expense involved with maintaining them.  I, for one, would happily volunteer for the job of saying Sayonara to these AHs.

So, I say to the Government of this state, PROTECT THE IDENTITY OF THOSE INVOLVED IN THE FINAL PROCESS.  IT IS YOUR JOB, THAT IS WHY WE ELECTED YOU!

Angry, heck no, I'm not angry...I'm flat out Pissed!

vikkiw47

Great Post Jingles !!! I totally agree
Justice is not about bringing back the dead. It is not about revenge either. Justice is about enforcing consequences for one's own actions to endorse personal responsibility. We cannot expect anyone to take responsibility for their own actions if these consequences are not enforced in full.

GlennBeckFan

#22
April 22, 2009, 01:45:08 AM Last Edit: April 22, 2009, 01:48:28 AM by RetLEO
Dear Washington State and Mr. Wright, concerned citizens, et al
In response to the resignation of the execution team for not wanting their identities revealed, I will for reimbursement of travel and lodging fees only, come to the place of execution and perform the said duties for you.  You may with my permission, reveal my name, address, etc and place my photo on a billboard along the interstate, as long as you don't mind the smile on my face as I insert the IV's in place.  (no air brushing please)   You may contact me via PM this site.
8)
Time is running out in Tennessee for Owens and Porterfield

JeffB

I'll join you Ret.  I'll even hold a large bore IV catheter in my hand for the billboard photo.. 
"SO SUCK IT YOU "BLUE COOLER" DOPE!"  -  Sylar24

63Wildcat

JeffB,
You and Leo can do the LI stuff... I've already got JT on board for the hanging portion. That should take care of the positions that were vacated. Now how cool would that be having 4 members of OFF2DR as executioners?
"..the death of any public servant or innocent is a tragedy... the death of a murderer is a mere statistic..."  -63Wildcat

AS OF TOMORROW I'M TURNING GRAVITY OFF...

63Wildcat

We (OFF2DR) now have 4 volunteers to replace those vacated positions of executioner, now if the gov't of WA will get their act together.... ::)
"..the death of any public servant or innocent is a tragedy... the death of a murderer is a mere statistic..."  -63Wildcat

AS OF TOMORROW I'M TURNING GRAVITY OFF...

Harold1253

I would gladly offer my services as escort and strapdown attendant.  You need a BIG guy for that, and I am one! 8)

Michael

You don´t need a big guy for their last walk Harold... after Jeff send some final words to them they´re nice as newborns...  ;D

Michael
I´m not sure if there´s a hell, but I believe in executed murderers.

Jeff1857

OLYMPIA - A lawsuit that could delay the executions of three men on Washington's death row alleges that the state Department of Corrections' method of administering lethal injections violates the state's constitutional protections against cruel punishment and unnecessary pain.

The three convicted killers named as plaintiffs in the suit - Darold Stenson, Cal Coburn Brown and Jonathan Gentry - will get their day in court Thursday, when the civil trial of their suit starts in Olympia before Thurston County Superior Judge Chris Wickham.


A brief by Stenson's attorneys filed May 5 finds fault with DOC's lethal injection protocols - and spells out in chilling detail how the improper administering of the drugs can cause "undue pain and suffering."


DOC's three-drug lethal injection protocol prescribes three drugs - three grams of sodium thiopental, 100 milligrams of pancuronium bromide and 240 millequivalents of potassium chloride.


According to the brief:


Sodium thiopental is a barbiturate and an ultra-short general anesthetic that, if properly administered, "will render the inmate unconscious."


Pancuronium bromide, the second drug to be administered during the lethal injection, "paralyzes all voluntary movement."


"Its administration without proper anesthetic would paralyze the inmate's diaphragm, causing the inmate to experience a feeling of suffocation, as the inmate would struggle to breathe but would not be able to," the brief says. Pancuronium bromide masks any outward signs of pain, creating the risk that an inmate will suffer "excruciating pain before death."


The third drug administered, potassium chloride, stops the heart. "Its injection into a conscious inmate would be extremely painful and would cause an excruciating burning feeling throughout his veins," the brief reads.


"When DOC employs a method of execution that is vulnerable to multiple errors, any one of which may result in the infliction of agonizing pain, it has a state constitutional obligation to provide adequate, practicable safeguards against those errors," says a brief filed by lawyers with the Perkins Coie firm in Seattle, which is representing Stenson in the suit.


Stenson's attorneys also argue that Washington's lethal injection protocols fail to meet the standards set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court in a case arising from Kentucky. The Washington Attorney General has argued that DOC's protocols are "substantially similar" to the Kentucky protocols ruled to be constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.


Kentucky's lethal injection protocols include safeguards that are not included in Washington's protocols, according to Stenson's attorneys' brief. Among the alleged differences:


• A requirement that Kentucky's lethal injection team members "must remain certified in their profession and must fulfill any continuing education requirements in their profession."


• A requirement that Kentucky's lethal injection team conduct 10 practice sessions annually, "including during each session a complete walk through of the execution, regardless of whether an execution is scheduled."


A trial brief filed by the attorney general goes into detail about the DOC's lethal injection protocols, including the requirement that the superintendent of the Washington State Penitentiary at Walla Walla ensure twice that no stays are in place for a defendant before he or she is executed, "once before the condemned is brought into the execution chamber and once immediately prior to the administration of sodium thiopental."


According to the AG's brief, Washington's lethal injection protocols also require:


• That the lethal injection team participate in "a minimum of three practice sessions preceding an execution that shall include the siting of intravenous lines."


• That a physician be present during an execution. The physician's function is solely to "pronounce death at the conclusion of the execution process." The physician does not assist in the siting of intravenous lines and is not present in the execution room when the execution takes place.


The AG's trial brief says: "The plaintiffs bear the burden of rebutting the presumption of constitutionality by presenting clear, objective evidence that lethal injection is cruel punishment." The AG also argues that the U.S. Supreme Court has already rejected claims that the three-drug lethal injection combination is unconstitutional.


In Washington, death row offenders have the option of death by lethal injection or by hanging. Washington has executed only two people by lethal injection - James Elledge on Aug. 28, 2001, and Jeremy Sagastegui on Oct. 13, 1998.


"Neither of those men appealed their death sentence or challenged Washington's lethal injection methods," says the brief by Stenson's attorneys.


Washington DOC spokeswoman Maria Peterson said two death row offenders in recent years have been executed by hanging - Wesley Alan Dodd in 1993 and Charles Rodman Campbell in 1994.


Although the lawsuit filed by Stenson's attorneys seeks only to create a policy for Washington's lethal injections that does not cause undue pain and suffering to the offender, a lawyer with the Washington attorney general's office who is representing the DOC in this suit thinks it has a larger goal.


"The state believes the purpose of this action is to prevent the executions from occurring," said Assistant Attorney General John Samson, who is trying the case with Assistant Attorney General Sara Olson.


Sherilyn Peterson, one of Stenson's attorneys, said the plaintiffs are not trying to delay the executions but only want "meaningful judicial review" of Washington's lethal injection procedures.


Peterson noted that after DOC's lethal injection team resigned in March in response to her client's suit, the state has made no efforts to reconstitute it.


Peterson said: "The state has no execution team. They all resigned and the state refuses to reconstitute the team until after this case is over. The Supreme Court and other courts reviewing the legality of state lethal injection procedures have identified the qualifications and competence of the lethal injection team as key to approving the process. The state's refusal to show that it is capable of assembling a qualified team is evidence that it cannot. We do not see how there can be any meaningful judicial review until the state reconstitutes its team."


Olson said that the volunteer members of the lethal injection team resigned because they did not want to lose their anonymity if their names were published as a result of the current death penalty litigation.


No executions are scheduled in Washington, Olson said.


"We are months, if not years, from an execution," she said.


Olson also said Peterson's claims that the state is unaware of the qualifications necessary for future lethal injection team members is inaccurate.


Olson said that of the men on death row named in the suit, Gentry has a pending federal habeas corpus hearing, and the other two plaintiffs have exhausted all of the state and federal appeals regarding their convictions and sentences.


There is a stay of execution entered in Clallam County that would prevent Stenson from being executed until additional DNA testing in his case is completed. Peterson said prosecutors in Clallam County now are trying to get that stay lifted.


The Washington Supreme Court has issued a stay of execution for Brown, pending the results of the litigation to be heard at trial in Olympia.


Attorneys and court employees in Thurston County said that no matter how Wickham rules at the end of this week's trial, the outcome almost certainly will be appealed all the way to the Washington Supreme Court.

http://www.theolympian.com/localnewsfeed/story/853989.html

63Wildcat

"..the death of any public servant or innocent is a tragedy... the death of a murderer is a mere statistic..."  -63Wildcat

AS OF TOMORROW I'M TURNING GRAVITY OFF...

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