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January 5, 2012

Oklahoma completes first execution of 2012

As reported in this local article, headlined "Ottawa County killer put to death at Oklahoma State Penitentiary," the first execution in the United States in 2012 took place earlier today.  Here are the basics from the media account:

The state of Oklahoma executed Gary Roland Welch on Thursday evening for his role in a 1994 murder in Ottawa County.  Welch was 49.  He was 32 when he killed Robert Dean Hardcastle, 35, in Miami, Okla., in a dispute over drugs.

The execution began at 6:03 p.m. at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, and Welch was pronounced dead at 6:10 p.m.  Before the lethal injection started, Welch said: “Let’s get it on, because that’s what we’re here for.”  He then chanted, “Vahalla, Odin, Slay the beast,” several times before losing consciousness. He offered no apology.

Prosecutors said Welch assaulted Hardcastle and then chased him when he fled. Welch and co-conspirator Claudie Conover continued assaulting Hardcastle in a ditch at the end of the street, where multiple witnesses saw Welch punch and stab the victim before slashing him with a broken beer bottle.  Hardcastle had twin sons who were 2½ years old when their father was killed.

Conover was originally sentenced to death as well, but his sentence was later reduced to life without parole. Conover died in 2001 from natural causes while incarcerated at the Dick Conner Correctional Center in Hominy.  Welch maintained that he killed Hardcastle in self-defense, and he appeared unrepentant and indignant at his clemency hearing in December....

Oklahoma Assistant Attorney General Robert Whitaker argued that the forensic evidence and court testimony in Welch’s case contradicted his claims of self-defense.  Two hours before Welch killed Hardcastle, he had pulled a knife on someone else in the Miami area, demanding drugs, officials said....

Attorney General Scott Pruitt said in a statement that “Gary Welch had a 15-year history of violent crimes that included multiple assaults on women and police officers, burglary, stabbings and carrying concealed weapons before his conviction for murder.  The punishment of death as chosen by a jury of Welch’s peers is reserved for the most heinous crimes.  My thoughts are with Robert Hardcastle’s family and what they have endured for the past 17 years.”

January 5, 2012 at 08:20 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Interesting how Welch had a 15 year history of violent crimes before committing the murder and came within one vote of getting a favorable clemency recommendation from the Parole Board.

Posted by: DaveP | Jan 5, 2012 9:26:21 PM

Wow, it took about 15 years.
Coincidentally, Welch "had a 15-year history of
violent crimes that included multiple assaults
on women and police officers, burglary, stabbings
and carrying concealed weapons."

Perhaps Wodin would observe,"Cattle die, kindred die, we ourselves also die; but this one thing I know never dies, judgment on each one dead."-Elder Edda

Posted by: adamakis | Jan 5, 2012 10:06:11 PM

It would be good if the families of all the victims of this criminal gathered, hired private detectives to track all the biased, pro-criminal lawyers that enabled the criminal to be on the street after age 14, especially the judges and legislators enacting pro-criminal statutes. Hunt them. Find them. Shoot both knee caps off. To deter.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 6, 2012 2:06:33 AM

Given that Ohio is now back to actually carrying out executions (1 a month) and that States like FL, TN, SC, OK, AZ will now be scheduling more this year than last, I would expect 55-60 executions this year. The abolitionists won't be happy, but the legal maneuvers over Lethal Injection and drug shortages are over. Expect zero movement in CA thanks to the Governor and 9th circus.

Posted by: DeanO | Jan 6, 2012 9:58:55 AM

Is the TN lethal injection litigation over?

Posted by: federalist | Jan 6, 2012 12:05:59 PM

the hold-up in CA is the CDCR's failure to comply with state law, per a bunch of CA state court judges (first in superior court, then in the court of appeals, and then, again, in superior court).

Posted by: john | Jan 6, 2012 1:49:30 PM

I find it interesting that Supremacy Claus' not-infrequent explicit calls for violence against lawyers, judges, and others seem to bother no one. Perhaps everyone's just inured to it now, but the fact is, there is a regular commenter on this board who, in this thread, advocates hunting down and kneecapping people for the crime of doing their job. What if his calls for violence were directed, for example, at cops? Or Jews? Or blacks? Same indifference?

There is certainly nothing wrong with spirited debate over controversial issues. But I wonder why the explicit calls for violence against certain people continue to go unchallenged.

If SC one day takes a gun and starts picking people off, I guess we'll all know we saw it coming.

Posted by: pourquoi | Jan 6, 2012 3:34:01 PM

federalist

I don't think the Tennessee Supreme Court has affirmed the lower court upholding the new protocol yet. I am not sure if they have even heard oral arguments yet. It has been almost one year since the court below ruled.

Posted by: DaveP | Jan 6, 2012 6:43:00 PM

Thanks DaveP.

Dates in Tennessee need to be set, and justice needs to be carried out.

Posted by: federalist | Jan 6, 2012 7:42:13 PM

federalist

I was mistaken. The losing party took an appeal to the Tennessee Court of Appeals and I believe it is still there today. The Tennessee Supreme Court issued the stay, so they would have to dissolve it. The state is also having difficulty obtaining the drugs needed, so this isn't going to be resolved any time soon.

Posted by: DaveP | Jan 6, 2012 8:01:06 PM

The Tennessee Supreme Court ought to be ashamed of itself.

Posted by: federalist | Jan 6, 2012 8:11:12 PM

I remember the Tenn Sup Court reversed itself and granted a stay after denying it a few days earlier. They should have taken this directly from the lower court and resolved it by now. Going to the intermediate court just wastes time.

Posted by: DaveP | Jan 6, 2012 8:47:00 PM

DaveP --

Unfortunately, the whole point is to waste time.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jan 6, 2012 9:03:06 PM

Pourquoi: "...at cops? Or Jews? Or blacks?" These groups do not have absolute self-dealt, lawless, unjustified immunities from tort liability. Nor is any lawyer or judge or lawyer legislator doing any kind of job.

1) Let's return to the 11th grade and formal logic. The contrapositive of a true assertion is guaranteed to be true. If A, then B is true, then the contraposition, Not B, then Not A is always true. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contraposition. Prof. Berman studied philosophy, and can attest to the contraposition's validity. He will not because the conclusion about a remedy against the lawyer profession in utter failure becomes indisputable.

If you have tort liability, then you have an alternative to violence. You do not have an alternative to violence (not B) if you have absolute tort immunity (no tort liability or Not A).

This immunity is self-dealt. When voters try to pass a statute to increase judge accountability, it is falsely declared unconstitutional, and canceled by the people who will benefit from the cancellation, judges.

2) The job of government is to provide security. There are 20 million FBI Index felonies a year, and 2 million prosecutions. The overwhelming majority result in a slap on the wrist (unless the defendant is a productive male, then the plunder begins). When modest guidelines seek to protect the public, drop all crime by 40%, they are blocked by the Supreme Court. The onslaught is led by the most conservative member because lawyer employment needs a boost. Lawyers make 99% of government policy, no matter the background or politics of the elected official. They are fully responsible for all crime, all other social problems. They cause massive bastardy in various ethnic groups to generate massive government make work. So their immunities and failures are intentional, in bad faith, and economically advantageous. If they were liable, they would be subject to exemplary damages if not strict liability itself.

3) The lawyers are rent seekers. Rent seeking is an euphemism for armed robbery. If you refuse to pay your taxes to enrich the lawyer profession, a man with a gun will show up and help you pay. In return for this coerced tax payment, you get nothing of value back, just not shot. This bad faith, armed robbery is an additional justification for violence against the profession.

4) Lastly, violence is almost a duty for the patriot. The business model of the profession is that of the Inquisition. That lasted 700 years, and ended only after French revolutionary patriots guillotined or exiled 10,000 high church officials. History supports the sole remedy of the arrest, brief fair trial and summary execution of the entire lawyer hierarchy (around 15,000 internal traitors in brazen insurrection against the constitution). The sole conclusive evidence at their trials would be their legal decisions, and not any gotcha collateral corruption.

Given the utter failures (including nearly total responsibility for the factors causing 9/11), the self-dealing, the self-dealt immunities, the lawyer should be fired from making government policy. A constitutional amendment should exclude all lawyers from all benches, all legislative seats, and all responsible policy positions in the executive. This amendment would end the philosophical and policy justification for violence against the profession, including the adjudicated executions for insurrection against the constitution.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 7, 2012 5:41:22 AM

Pourquoi: I have summarized the formal logic, the policy, the economic, the historical justifications for violent self-help by the families of murder victims against pro-criminal, self-dealing biased, irresponsible judges and lawyers that have a million ultra-violent repeat offenders on the street, destroying our neighborhoods, and each victimizing dozens if not hundreds of people a year. I will gladly amplify on any point which you would like explained.

Now, you must do something. Utter the V word. You can't.

Not a scintilla of consideration in your criticism for the mass slaughter of innocent people under government supervision and forbearance of the pro-criminal, rent seeking lawyer.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 7, 2012 11:37:24 AM

BillOtis

Agreed. I never imagined that almost 4 years after Baze, several states would still be in limbo with LI litigation. Most surprising is the state courts are the ones holding it up. All the federal circuit courts of appeal have upheld the protocols.

Posted by: DaveP | Jan 7, 2012 2:36:12 PM

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