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September 16, 2006

California's inspiring execution team

It seems that whenever the curtain hiding lethal injection procedures is pulled back, what we discover is even less inspiring than the Wizard of Oz.  In Missouri, as detailed here, we learned that the physician that mixing the drugs used during  executions admitted he was dyslexic and often transposes numbers. Now from California, as detailed in newspaper articles here and here, we learn about the disturbing make-up of the California lethal injection team.  Here are "highlights" from the San Francisco Chronicle:

The San Quentin prison employee leading the team scheduled to execute Michael Morales for the 1981 rape and murder of a teenage Lodi girl had been diagnosed with clinical depression and post-traumatic stress disorder and was on antidepressant medication when Morales' execution was scheduled to proceed, according to federal court filings released Friday. Another execution team leader at San Quentin was terminated as a guard for bringing illegal narcotics into the prison, but was reinstated after being suspended five months without pay, and later advanced to head the execution team....

Morales, who had been scheduled for execution Feb. 21, is challenging the constitutionality of California's lethal injection procedure.  His attorneys maintain that prisoners may suffer severe pain because they are not properly anesthetized before being given lethal doses of drugs.  Morales' attorneys, in court filings, argue that California executions are performed by "prison personnel with criminal records of misconduct and who lack skill, competence, professionalism," training and other skills to perform executions.

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September 16, 2006 at 04:22 PM | Permalink

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Comments

So they lack skill, huh? Let's give them more practice.

Posted by: | Sep 16, 2006 7:08:49 PM

Who cares? Furthermore, there's nothing in the Chronicle article that says that these inmates were harmed by the prison personel actions. There just isn't much sympathy for people on death row -- they aren't exactly model citizens afterall.

Posted by: | Sep 16, 2006 8:32:02 PM

Ohmigod - a person who sought and received treatment for a medical condition is on an execution team????? What's next - someone who's taking medication for high blood pressure is going to push the button???

Posted by: | Sep 17, 2006 11:35:36 AM

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