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April 20, 2010

Ohio completes another successful one-drug lethal injection execution

As detailed in this local press report, which is headlined "Teen's killer executed as victim's mother watches," Ohio completed this morning what I believe is its fifth "uneventful" execution using its one-drug lethal injection protocol. Here are the basic detail:

As his victim's mother watched, Darryl Durr was executed this morning for abducting and murdering 16-year-old Angel Vincent of Elyria. Durr, 46, was pronounced dead at 10:36 a.m. after being injected with a single, large dose of thiopental sodium, a powerful anesthetic.

Durr's legal team threw up a flurry of last-minute appeals, claiming he might have a severe allergic reaction to the killing drug and that it has not been approved for executions by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio filed a suit as well, arguing that Durr was illegally prevented from obtaining a DNA test on the dead girl's necklace that could have produced evidence showing he was not guilty of the crime.

State and federal courts rejected all the appeals, however, clearing the way for Durr's execution -- Ohio's fourth in as many months and 37th since 1999.  Gov. Ted Strickland rejected Durr's clemency request yesterday.

The condemned man contended to the end that he was innocent not only of killing Vincent, but of committing rapes of other young women with which he was also charged.

April 20, 2010 at 11:26 AM | Permalink

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Comments

I think a lot of courts have lost patience with the LI claims. And Durr's innocence claims were pathetic.

Posted by: federalist | Apr 20, 2010 1:47:56 PM

Congrats to Ohio. At least some states are serious about carrying out the death sentences, unlike Florida among others.

Posted by: DaveP | Apr 20, 2010 3:16:17 PM

The defense lawyers should pay from personal assets for all legal expenses of answering their frivolous motion.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Apr 20, 2010 10:42:09 PM

http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2010/04/21/killer-provides-no-comfort-at-execution.html?sid=101

...The condemned man's dramatic reaction to the lethal drug might fuel the controversy about whether he had an allergic reaction or was simply fighting death to the last minute.

About two minutes after the thiopental sodium began flowing, Durr raised his head and shoulders off the table - even though he was strapped down - and grimaced for about 10 seconds. His head then fell back and his mouth opened wide as the anesthetic took effect.

Durr's eyes closed, but his chest heaved several times, and his throat convulsed spasmodically as if he was swallowing or gasping for air.

From the time the drug began flowing, it took 11 minutes for Durr to die.

His attorneys had filed several last-minute appeals, including one saying he might have a strong allergic reaction to the killing drug.

Julie Walburn, spokeswoman for the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, said, "We have no reason to believe he was in any pain."

As Durr was dying, a howling sob went up from one of his witnesses, the Rev. Georgina Thornton, his spiritual adviser. "Oh, God! Oh, Jesus!" she exclaimed, continuing to sob for several minutes. ...

Posted by: anon | Apr 21, 2010 1:28:15 PM

anon --

I occasionally have allergic reactions too. They're thoroughly unpleasant.

On the other hand, I haven't offed any 16 year old's. I was wondering if you could describe with equal detail her "reaction" to getting raped and murdered.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Apr 21, 2010 5:46:30 PM

Your notion of "balance" is quite Old Testament, Bill.

Some people can see beyond that, some can't.

This blog is increasingly for those who can't.

"Unrecognized visitors" will flee, then you can delight in just listening to your own echoes.

Posted by: anon | Apr 21, 2010 6:21:46 PM

anon --

I had been wondering if you could describe with equal detail the victim's reaction to getting raped and murdered. The answer is: you couldn't -- or won't.

It is not Old Testament but New Testament to understand that the victim has feelings, not just the defendant. To go on about the latter while ignoring the former is a very selective view of compassion.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Apr 21, 2010 6:41:17 PM

Anon--
How long did the victim take to die during the rape/murder? It troubles me terribly to think that Durr raised his head and shoulders and grimaced for 10 seconds. Just think for a minute what the young girl experienced.

Posted by: DaveP | Apr 21, 2010 9:07:37 PM

On a legal blog about sentencing, is this "he's scum, so why should we care about his rights" sort of thing typical or what?

Posted by: Joe | Apr 24, 2010 10:39:30 AM

Joe --

On a legal blog about sentencing, the assumption, by the minority with a visceral opposition to capital punishment but no particular legal argument, that the killer's "rights" have been infringed, is indeed typical.

If you care to tell us which of Durr's rights was denied, and by what court it was determined to have been denied after all these years of review, feel free. Otherwise, is there some way to view your post other than as empty complaining?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Apr 24, 2010 11:37:04 AM

If the legal argument made by anon is so thin why the emotional appeals to the suffering of the victim? To help you out, let me add that such appeals tend to lead some to think the person might be weak on the facts.

This blog, I assume, is about legal matters, not the moral legitimacy of punishing people who caused suffering. If the person tortured someone, this doesn't give the STATE the right to torture them in return. So, a claim the state did something wrong is not really answered by calls of compassion for the victim, is it? In fact, the law is not about "equal time" for the victim in this context. The state isn't targeting the victim but the accused. The accused (rather convicted murderer) in to be executed by the state, so yes, the accused is the focus here.

Sorry if pointing this out is deemed "empty complaining."

Posted by: Joe | Apr 24, 2010 12:20:43 PM

I'd add that 'visceral opposition to capital punishment' is not really the same thing as providing a factual claim. Again, the claim can be refuted [not having all the facts, the reasonable path for me to take is to be agnostic), but the suffering of the victim here doesn't do that. The fact you had some allergic reaction doesn't either.

Posted by: Joe | Apr 24, 2010 12:25:41 PM

Joe --

You asked, sarcastically, why we should care about the killer's rights when he is, after all, "scum" (your word).

The plain implication is that we DIDN'T care about the killer's rights.

What is your factual basis for thinking that we didn't care about his rights? All his "rights" were argued in litigation. He lost. To reject his claim of rights after considering them, for years I might add, is scarcely to "not care" about them.

You also failed to respond to my question about what court or what case had found Durr's rights to have been infringed. If you know of any, I would still be interested if you could provide the citation.

If you have no basis, in fact or in law, demonstating that Durr's rights were violated -- and none has been provided to date -- then "empty complaining" is a fair and accurate characterization of your initial post.

"If the legal argument made by anon is so thin why the emotional appeals to the suffering of the victim?"

Anon did not make a legal argument. Indeed he did not an argument at all. He appealed to emotion by citing the suffering, or supposed suffering, of the killer and his family.

If the suffering of the victim doesn't count with you, that is your choice. I make a different choice.

"This blog, I assume, is about legal matters, not the moral legitimacy of punishing people who caused suffering."

The title of this blog is, "Sentencing Law and Policy." This country's policy choice to retain the death penalty is rooted squarely in the majority's belief that it is morally legitimate. So your assumption is incorrect.

"If the person tortured someone, this doesn't give the STATE the right to torture them in return."

How ironic. After questioning whether commenters should discuss moral legitimacy, your very next sentence pivots on moral legitimacy. But to no purpose. No serious person is proposing that the state use torture as a criminal punishment. But many serious people, from John Stuart Mill to George Bernard Shaw to Abraham Lincoln to Felix Frankfurter have supported capital punishment. Are they to be dismissed?

"So, a claim the state did something wrong is not really answered by calls of compassion for the victim, is it?"

But the claim the state did something wrong is exactly what's absent. What legal right of Durr's did the state infringe, and what court so held, ever?

"The state isn't targeting the victim but the accused. The accused (rather convicted murderer) in to be executed by the state, so yes, the accused is the focus here."

That the convicted murderer is the "focus" here does not mean that commenters are required to regard him as the SOLE proper object of the discussion.

"I'd add that 'visceral opposition to capital punishment' is not really the same thing as providing a factual claim."

So who's preventing you from providing one?

"Again, the claim can be refuted [not having all the facts, the reasonable path for me to take is to be agnostic), but the suffering of the victim here doesn't do that."

I didn't say it did. However, to cite the alleged suffering of the killer (on account of a guessed-about allergic reaction) invites a short reminder, and that's all it was, that the victim suffered as well, and from something considerably worse than an allergic reaction.


Posted by: Bill Otis | Apr 24, 2010 1:41:57 PM

bill it might have been this one!

"The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio filed a suit as well, arguing that Durr was illegally prevented from obtaining a DNA test on the dead girl's necklace that could have produced evidence showing he was not guilty of the crime."

of couse now that the case is over. he's DEAD. If the defense team thinks he was in fact innocent. NOW would be the time to demand the necklace for testing. Would be very hard for the state to refuse since it would go right to the defense claim that he was innocent and it would seem the state KNOW'S it and wants to hide the fact.

then have it tested and the results relesed to the public. That would end the conflict!

Posted by: rodsmith | Apr 24, 2010 2:04:14 PM

personally i think if we are going to continue legal killings.. time to go back to tried and true methods. Hanging or a bullet to the brain. Quick simple and relatevly painless if done correctly.

Posted by: rodsmith | Apr 24, 2010 2:05:10 PM

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