« Fifth Circuit approves upward departure based on "remote" uncharged conduct | Main | The impact of the execution moratorium on victim's family »

November 17, 2007

Dyslexic doctor of death involved in federal LI protocol

As detailed in posts here and here, I have long been wondering why federal officials have so willingly postponed federal executions during all the litigation over state execution protocols.  Now, thanks to this article from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the mystery may be clearing up:

The doctor barred by a federal judge from performing executions in Missouri is part of the federal government's secret execution team at its death chamber in Indiana, according to court documents filed in a death penalty appeal. 

Dr. Alan Doerhoff testified anonymously in federal court in Kansas City in June 2006 that dyslexia caused him at times to confuse numbers, give inconsistent testimony and call drugs by the wrong name. As a result, U.S. District Judge Fernando Gaitan Jr. ordered a temporary halt to Missouri executions, saying he had concerns that the condemned might be subjected to unconstitutionally cruel punishment.

Doerhoff remained anonymous until the Post-Dispatch reported his name the following month and revealed that he had been sued for malpractice more than 20 times, denied staff privileges by two hospitals and reprimanded by the state Board of Healing Arts for failing to disclose the lawsuits to a hospital where he was treating patients.

The allegations that Doerhoff was involved in federal executions surfaced in a legal filing in September, amended last month, in the appeal of James Roane Jr. He was sentenced to death in February 1993 for his participation in a series of drug-related murders in Richmond, Va.

Apparently this story was first broken by Henry Weinstein in this LA Times article, and this AP story suggests that the feds hired the dyslexic doc after his questionable abilities were known.  Yeesh!

November 17, 2007 at 11:49 AM | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451574769e200e54f9af96f8834

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Dyslexic doctor of death involved in federal LI protocol :

Comments

Sounds like he has more than dyslexia. But when the death penalty opponents essentially ban docs through intimidation from participating, then we shouldn't be surprised... moreover, making executions a medical procedure is just plain silly. Yet, one wonders what procedure the courts would allow for implementing the penalty.

Posted by: | Nov 17, 2007 12:56:28 PM

Death penalty opponents made them do it! So says the party of personal responsibility. So when the government hires Dr. Mengele, it will because the death penalty opponents made them do it.

Posted by: George | Nov 17, 2007 2:45:58 PM

The doctor is good enough for the feds in their secret program then he is good enough for Walter Reed Hospital where all the top brass receive their free medical care. They could put him in charge of circumsisions.

Posted by: M. P. Bastian | Nov 19, 2007 5:52:03 AM

You don't need a doctor to tie a noose. The gallows are not cruel in that hangings, done properly with the long drop method, are over in a mere seconds and break the spine for a nearly painless and abrupt end. They are certainly not unusual in the meaning of Constitution either as they have been preformed for centuries and are still performed to this day with much frequency.

Posted by: dweedle | Nov 19, 2007 11:07:45 AM

HE MURDERED MY FIANCE AND HE DID IT BECAUSE HE WANTED TO NOT BECAUSE HE COULDN'T HELP IT. NOT ONCE DID HE OR HIS QUOTE ON QUOTE HIS BOYS EVER THINK ABOUT THE PEOPLE THEY LEFT BEHIND TO CARRY ON THE LONELINESS AND PAIN THAT GETS BETTER BUT NEVER GOES AWAY.I HAVE NO CONCIDERATION ,WHEN YOU TAKE ANOTHERS LIFE,EVEN THE MENTALLY RETARDED KNOWS THY SHALL NOT KILL!!!! DAWN

Posted by: | Jun 21, 2008 7:19:40 AM

Not all doctors are like him. Doctors studied so many years just to help people.

-Luke

Posted by: ENT doctor | Nov 11, 2009 2:41:39 AM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB