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October 21, 2009

Georgia carries out uneventful lethal injection execution

As reported in this local article, headlined "State executes pizza store killer," Georgia officials appeared to have no problem with a lethal injection protocol last night.  Here are the basics:

Condemned inmate Mark McClain was killed by lethal injection at 7:24 p.m. Tuesday in Jackson....

McClain did not issue a final statement.  When asked if he wanted a prayer said for him, he replied, "No, I'm fine."  He lay expressionless and made no eye contact with the attorneys, prison officials and members of the media who witnessed his execution.  As his death drew near McClain's ruddy complexion turned pale. His body lunged forward slightly as the potassium chloride raced through his veins, but otherwise his passing was quiet.  His execution, unlike most, kept to schedule....

McClain was sentenced to death by a Richmond County jury for the 1994 murder of the Domino's Pizza store manager. Brown, 28, was shot once in the chest for the $130 in his till.

McClain was at peace with his fate, said attorney Brian Kammer.  "Mark had become a person of deep religious faith, and he had a sense of equanimity through this whole process,"Kammer said. "He had hoped common sense would prevail."  McClain acknowledged shooting Brown, but claimed it was unintentional. Jurors sided with the prosecution, who labeled McClain an experienced criminal who "preferred to kill."...

McClain was the third person executed in Georgia this year and the 45th put to death since 1983, when the state resumed executions after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled them to be constitutional.

Georgia juries convicted 55 people of committing a murder during an armed robbery in 1995, the year McClain was sentenced.  Prosecutors sought the death penalty in 16 of those cases, but McClain was the only one condemned to die.  "It's a crime that would not garner the death penalty these days," Kammer said.

October 21, 2009 at 10:32 AM | Permalink


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"He had hoped common sense would prevail."

It did.

Posted by: federalist | Oct 21, 2009 11:10:52 AM

federalist --

Just so. I was amused by defense counsel's claim that the murder was "unintentional."

I have walked into a lot of pizza stores in my day, and somehow always managed not to have a loaded gun with me, and not to empty the till on the way out, intentionally or otherwise.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Oct 21, 2009 12:25:33 PM

"I have walked into a lot of pizza stores in my day, and somehow always managed not to have a loaded gun with me, and not to empty the till on the way out, intentionally or otherwise."

Give yourself a big cookie, Bill Otis. But the fact remains that you can have a loaded gun with you, empty the till on the way out, and still unintentionally fire the weapon at the person. A jury determined that in this case, that did not happen and so the defendant was found guilty and put to death, which was a punishment acceptable under the law. That's the legal process at work. Despite prosecutors like you, still, in this country, the legal process works better than in most. For that, we must thank our founding fathers, who ensured that the Constitution protects the average citizen from the Bill Otis's of this country.

Posted by: John | Oct 21, 2009 1:13:37 PM

John --

Unlike you, who tosses darts from behind the tree of anonymity, I use my real name.

You say that the average citizen's constitutional rights are protected "from the Bill Otis's of this country."

Since my actual record is open to all, in the form of the dozens of published cases I argued in the Fourth Circuit, I will ask you to back up what you say by finding a single case, just one, in which that Court or any other stated, implied or suggested in any way whatever that my conduct was inconsistent with either the text or underlying values of the Constitution.

So let's see it, hot shot, while you munch on that big cookie.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Oct 21, 2009 1:39:52 PM

United States v. Samad, 754 F.2d 1091 (4th Cir. 1984)

Posted by: John | Oct 21, 2009 3:07:01 PM


Seems Georgia has executed the killer of a Domino's pizza store manager before. Wonder if the defense attorney knew that . . . .

Posted by: federalist | Oct 21, 2009 3:21:51 PM

John --

Glad you found the Samad case. I presume your claim that I subverted the Constitution is based on the Fourth Circuit's finding that the trial prosecutor personally vouched for one item of the government's evidence, and that this was plainly improper.

I will assume for the moment that such vouching is not only improper but a violation of the Constitution.

But I've got bad news for you.

I wasn't the trial prosecutor. Indeed, I never attended the trial and had no connection with the case whatever until the appeal arrived on my desk as a stack of papers. As you would know if you were paying attention, I was the head of the Appellate Division.

So what we have from you is not the evidence you claimed to be furnishing, but another false accusation.

Wanna try again?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Oct 21, 2009 3:48:39 PM

"Georgia carries out uneventful lethal injection execution"

So intentionally killing a human being is now... uneventful?

Posted by: Pete Guither | Oct 21, 2009 9:28:39 PM

We are barbarians. At times I am so ashamed to be an American.

(And please don't tell me to leave - the government has my passport.)

Posted by: Juana | Oct 21, 2009 10:34:11 PM

Pete: This is a very rare posting. Anyone interested in balance should praise the lawyer.

The lawyer never posts items where the death penalty works. Here, the condemned improved himself from it. It worked mechanically. Justice and public safety were served. The condemned died a more comfortable death than 90% of us who will go by a prolonged, agonizing, and humiliating disease. The condemned did not get immunized for all crimes after the first murder, by the left wing, criminal lover lawyer abolitionist. He was likely a busy criminal prior to his apprehension, and would have been again with the sentence of LWOP.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Oct 22, 2009 7:06:30 AM

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