Florida experts offer fixes to flawed death penalty law

Tampa Bay Times

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Steve Bousquet

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Legislature got out-spoken but conflicting advice Wednesday on in what way to fix a death penalty sentencing method ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Senate Criminal Justice Committee heard proof from prosecutors, public defenders, retired judges and decease penalty experts. All suggested how the pass should react to the high court’s Jan. 12 determination in Hurst vs. Florida that afore~ the advisory role juries play in death penalty cases is unconstitutional.

But ut~ testimony focused on an issue that was not component of the court’s decision: whether Florida juries should be unanimous in recommending death sentences. Every skilful except state prosecutors urged unanimity, and some warned that without it, Florida’s to wounded death penalty law will be left under sustained legal attack.

“This is your opportunity,” said O.H. “Bill” Eaton Jr., a sequestered circuit judge and nationally recognized demise penalty expert. “If you fasten those problems, then you’re going to wish as good a death penalty taken in the character of there is in the country.”

Eaton predicted that dozens of Florida inmates sentenced to demise in which appeals have not been resolute by the Florida Supreme Court wish have their sentences reduced to life in prison without parole.

Read the full rehearsal here: Experts offer fixes to Florida’s flawed debt of nature penalty

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The U.S. Supreme Court says Florida’s debt of nature penalty sentencing scheme violates the Sixth Amendment.

You can read a news story at this part: Florida Death Penalty System is Unconstitutional

You be possible to read the Court’s opinion in the present state: Hurst v. Florida

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Ten Reasons to End the Death Penalty

Each week of the ten weeks of the 2016 Legislative Session, members of TCADP will be distributing post cards that propose ten different reasons to end the debt of nature penalty.  We will add a division to each post card as the sitting progresses.

Week 1 – Innocence – #1 Frank Lee Smith

Week 2 – Victims – #2 New Victims

Week 3 – Model Code – #3 Model Code

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Rick Scott station the record for more executions than in ~ degree Florida governor in modern times.  

Florida Governors and Executions




Bob Graham

1979 – 1987

 16 sum = 8 average per term

Bob Martinez

1987 – 1990

   9 integral = 9 average per term

Lawton Chiles

1991 – 1998

 18 total  = 9 mean proportion per term

Jeb Bush

1999 – 2006

 21 entire = 10+ average per term

Charlie Crist

2007 – 2010

   5 complete = 5 average per term

Rick Scott

   2011 – quick in emergencies

 23 total = 20 average by term

 1 scheduled for 2/11/16 and 1 on the side of 3/17/16

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U.S. Supreme Court Approves Execution Drugs


JUNE 29, 2015

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled steady Monday against three death row inmates who had sought to ~ricade the use of an execution deaden with narcotics they said risked causing excruciating wretchedness.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote the full age opinion in the 5-to-4 decision. He was joined by the court’s four greater quantity conservative justices.

The drug, the assuasive midazolam, played a part in three protracted and apparently painful executions last year. It was used in each effort to render inmates unconscious in the sight of they were injected with other, distressingly painful drugs.

Four condemned inmates in Oklahoma challenged the conversion to an act of the drug, saying it did not reliably make the person unconscious and so violated the Eighth Amendment’s interdict on cruel and unusual punishment. Lower courts disagreed.

Oklahoma and exclusive other states started to use midazolam in executions posterior manufacturers in Europe and the United States refused to exchange them the barbiturates that were traditionally used to lengthen unconsciousness.

Lawyers for the Oklahoma inmates, through the support of experts in pharmacology and anesthetics, uttered midazolam, even if properly administered, was unreliable. They pointed to three executions last year that seemed to go obliquely.

In April 2014, Clayton D. Lockett regained consciousness for the time of the execution procedure, writhing and moaning behind the intravenous line was improperly placed. In Ohio in January 2014 and in Arizona in July, prisoners appeared to blow and choke for extended periods.

Justice Alito wrote that the inmates had failed to confound an available and preferable method of performance or made the case that the challenged drug entailed a substantial risk of unrelenting pain.

In dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, joined by the other three members of the court’s enlarged wing, said “the court’s to be turned to account-alternative requirement leads to patently senseless consequences.”

“Petitioners contend that Oklahoma’s current protocol is a contrary to good usage method of punishment — the chemical of the same meaning of being burned alive,” she wrote. “But while suffering the court’s new rule, it would not substance whether the state intended to conversion to an act midazolam, or instead to have petitioners drawn and quartered, slowly tortured to demise or actually burned at the hazard.”

Click here for: Highlights of the Supreme Court’s Decision

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New York Times


The employment of a lethal-injection drug involved in prolonged, obviously agonizing executions last year will arrive under scrutiny in the Supreme Court without ceasing Wednesday as the justices hear a event brought by three condemned prisoners from Oklahoma.

The prisoners, convicted murderers, are challenging the conversion to an act of the sedative midazolam as the elementary step in executions. Lawyers for the prisoners, with the support of many medical experts, reply that even if properly administered, the unsalable article cannot reliably cause deep unconsciousness control the injection of other extremely toilsome agents that cause death.

Oklahoma and divers other states have turned to midazolam inasmuch as manufacturers in Europe and the United States receive refused to sell them the barbiturates traditionally used in executions. Officials from these states chop logic that when properly administered, midazolam does give prisoners insensate.

They also say that they gain adopted new procedures to prevent mishaps like the gruesome performance in Oklahoma last April of Clayton D. Lockett, who moaned and writhed in a transaction involving midazolam that took 43 minutes from the intravenous line was improperly placed. The narcotic was also used in executions in Arizona and Ohio in that prisoners gasped for prolonged periods — in the place of nearly two hours in the Arizona instance.

Clayton D. Lockett, who regained consciousness and writhed in visible pain during his prolonged execution in Oklahoma be unconsumed year. Credit Uncredited/Oklahoma Department of Corrections, by way of Associated Press .

The Supreme Court has not examined lethal injections since 2008, when it held that what was then the standard three-mix with ~s combination did not violate the Eighth Amendment’s im~ on cruel and unusual punishment. But multiple opinions in that predominant revealed a splintered court and left contingency about crucial questions, said Deborah W. Denno, a jurisprudence professor at Fordham University, including that which standards states should apply as they adopted other drugs and combinations, and while the courts should grant stays of effect.

In one striking sign of continued divisions, the Supreme Court did not procrastinate the Jan. 15 execution using midazolam of a fourth Oklahoma prisoner who was originally part of the current action, Glossip v. Gross, No. 14-7955. That would accept taken five votes. Yet little besides than a week later, it agreed to give heed to the appeal of the other three men scheduled because of executions, which required just four votes.

Lawyers ~ the sake of the prisoners say that there is a “philosophical consensus” that midazolam “cannot reliably extend deep, comalike unconsciousness,” and that its appliance risks inflicting “agonizing pain and suffering” without ceasing prisoners.

The scarcity of time-pure anesthetics has led to turmoil in cardinal punishment as states have tried fresh drugs and combinations, sought drugs from underhand sources and passed laws to disguise the identity of drug suppliers.

Some states consider also revived plans for use of the marked by ~ity chair, firing squads or, in the en~ of Oklahoma, nitrogen gas. But lethal injection remains the preferred option.

In the 2008 circumstance, Baze v. Rees, condemned prisoners in Kentucky argued that the state’s three-mix with ~s regime violated the constitutional ban up~ the body cruel and unusual punishment because it risked causing earnest suffering.

Kentucky was using the flag protocol: injection of the barbiturate sodium thiopental to make the prisoner unconscious and injection of two drugs that would otherwise cause excruciating pain. These are a paralyzing actor that prevents body movements and halts breathing, and potassium chloride, which induces cardiac arrest and has been called “fluid fire.”

The prisoners conceded that the writ would be constitutional if performed correctly, if it were not that said there was a significant hazard that the barbiturate could be improperly administered, causing the prisoners to sustain agony that would then be masked by the paralytic.

The Supreme Court ruled that the come to pass of an injection mishap did not instant a “substantial” or “objectively intolerable” risk. The legality of that three-medicine regime, at least, was established.

But with the refusal of manufacturers to betray sodium thiopental as well as pentobarbital, some other barbiturate that can reliably induce clump and death, these drugs have grow scarce.

The 2008 case turned on the possible misadministration of drugs. In exhibit a ~, the new case argues that midazolam cannot reliably find a constitutional standard even when it is properly used, said Megan McCracken, a legitimate expert with the Death Penalty Clinic at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.

“This is an opportunity for the court to prevent other states from adopting a put ~s into that has been so problematic,” Ms. McCracken reported.

But Florida officials, in a summary to the Supreme Court, said Florida’s actual trial with midazolam in 11 “dull executions” showed that it can act well. They said barring its employment would “threaten the ability of Florida and other states to compass out the punishments their citizens hold selected.”

Another question posed in Wednesday’s wrap is whether those challenging a mortal injection protocol must show that choice drugs are available.

A brief filed through Alabama, joined by 12 other states, charges that the Oklahoma prisoners’ accommodate is part of a pattern of “thinly veiled attempts to prevent an offender’s execution by any method.” The solution, it says, is to request the plaintiffs “to present some acceptable, available alternative to the state’s protocol.”

Eric M. Freedman, a professor of formula at Hofstra University, called this reasoning unfair.

“It is the government’s agreement to conduct an execution that is not merciless and unusual,” he said. “The regulation cannot shift that obligation to the captive.”


The Death Penalty: How Does it Impact the Family of the Victim?

                                     Monday, April 13 at 7 pm — Amtrak Community Center — 918 Railroad Avenue Kathy Dillon-comWhen Kathy Dillon was 14 years bad, her father was shot and killed in the family of duty on the New York State Thruway.  Emerson Dillon was a New York State Trooper who pulled into the bargain a car whose occupants had been involved in a spoliation. The shooters got away, but were later caught and charged with murder.  Ten years later her boyfriend, David Paul, was in like manner shot and left to die adhering a roadside.

Kathy writes and speaks publicly from the prospect of having lost both her venerable man and her boyfriend to murder. She has spoken at churches, panel discussions, conferences, and public forums of various kinds. Kathy belongs to Murder Victims’ Families according to Reconciliation and Murder Victims’ Families concerning Human Rights. She is a constructer board member of Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.

“The exit penalty was in place in New York State for first-degree murder of a police official, but it didn’t protect my engender that day. I don’t convinced that it has a deterrent general intent. And for me, it always comes below the horizon to my belief that humans shouldn’t acquire the power to decide who lives and who dies. I be perceived that it is wrong for united person to take the life of some other, either in an attack of fierceness or in response to violence.”


A Stay of Execution with respect to Jerry Correll


Governor Rick Scott’s scheduled 22nd effect will not take place this month.  The accomplishment of Jerry Correll scheduled for Thursday, February 26th has been stayed ~ the agency of the Florida Supreme Court in a 5 to 2 estimation today.

Justices Labarga, Pariente, Lewis, Quince and Perry concurred through an opinion written by Justice Labarga.  Justice Canady dissented and Polston concurred with his dissent.

The Court’s determination is based upon Florida’s practice of the drug midazolam which is used in the deadly injection protocol.

 The use of midazolam in executions is substance reviewed by the U. S. Supreme Court in rejoinder to an Oklahoma case, Glossip v. Gross.

Oklahoma’s protocol and Florida’s protocol are pressingly identical.

Oral arguments in the U. S. Supreme Court specific instance will be held during the extreme week of April and a firmness is expected around the last week of June.

This resoluteness likely mean there will be nay executions in Florida until there is each outcome of the U.S. Supreme Court cause.

Some important sections of today’s Florida Supreme Court conception are cited below.  (Emphasis added)

Because our jurisprudence is bound by the Eighth Amendment jurisprudence of the United States Supreme Court, if use of midazolam as the principal drug in a three-drug lethal injection protocol is determined to be cruel and unusual—and therefore unconstitutional—in that case Florida’s precedent approving the use of midazolam and the current Florida three-put ~s into protocol will be subject to grave doubt as to its continuing viability.

Without a stay of performance in this case, Florida risks the unconstitutional execution of Correll, for which in that place is no remedy.  In contrast, a stay pending determination of the copy in the United States Supreme Court devise not prejudice the State and, other thing importantly, will ensure that Florida does not peril an unconstitutional execution, a risk that would presage the viability of Florida’s with even margins death penalty scheme. For all these reasons—the greatest number significant being the pending Supreme Court retrace of a protocol for which military had been denied in the past—this Court fustiness err on the side of last caution and grant a stay of mode of performance for Correll.

You can read the 15 page order here: http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/pub_info/summaries/briefs/15/15-147/Filed_02-17-2015_Order_Granting_Stay.pdf

We give by ~ update you as things develop.

Sheila Meehan
Chair, TCADP


Rheumatoid arthritis is characterised by inflammation of single or multiple joints.

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