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May 17, 2011

Ohio completes "bloody" lethal injection execution, as Mississippi prepares for second of three executions in May

As reported in this local story, headlined "Killer of 2 is executed after 27 years; Daniel Lee Bedford lethally injected at Lucasville," this morning Ohio completed its fourth execution of 2011. This one, as detailed in the story, was more eventful than the others for a number of reasons:

A last-minute flurry of legal appeals did not stop today's execution of double-murderer Daniel Lee Bedford. Bedford, 63, was lethally injected this morning at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility near Lucasville. The time of death was 11:18 a.m.

The prison staff appeared to have trouble getting the IV into his left arm. After several attempted sticks with the needle, one of his lawyers, Carol Wright stood up and made at least one phone call from the witness area to a colleague in another part of the prison. "They're clearly having problems," she said, adding at one point "it's a bloody mess."

Previous executions have been marred -- one was even postponed -- by multiple attempts to get the needle into a suitable vein. In the 11 minutes it took to insert the IV, Wright was calling out to Bedford through the glass separating the witness area and death chamber. "Are there problems, Dan? Are there problems, Dan?" she kept repeating. He obviously could hear her, and said something in return about the number of times he was being stuck with the IV.

Once the line was attached, Bedford told prison authorities he had no last statement so they removed the microphone. But he began talking out loud to his daughter, Michelle Connor, who was watching through the glass. "I love you, 'Shell,'" he said. She called back to him, "I love you, daddy." After the lethal drugs began flowing, his final words were, "Love you all. God bless you."...

Three witnesses were on hand for the victims; two brothers, one uncle of his former girlfriend, Gwen Toepfert. One brother held up a framed picture of the young, attractive blonde, pointing it toward Bedford. He was the oldest of 45 men Ohio has put to death since resuming capital punishment in 1999.

Earlier this morning the U.S. Supreme Court denied a final appeal to halt Bedford's execution. The uncertainty over court rulings delayed the execution from its scheduled 10 a.m. start. A federal appeals court late last night lifted a stay of execution in the case, prompting attorneys for the convicted killer from Cincinnati to turn to the high court.

U.S. District Court Judge Algenon L. Marbley had granted a request to halt the execution filed by Bedford's legal team -- the federal public defender's office and Cincinnati attorney Alphonse Gerhardstein -- to halt the execution. Executing Bedford would be a violation of the state and federal constitutions because of his mental condition, Bedford's attorneys said. Bedford told the prison's mental health staff early today that "he understands he will die and is preparing himself," a prison spokesman said.

Meanwhile, as detailed in this story from another state published yesterday, before the end of May, "Mississippi could rival Texas and Ohio with the most executions carried out in the first five months of this year."  Here are the details:

The first of the three planned executions occurred last Tuesday, when Benny Joe Stevens, 52, was put to death for murdering four people -- his ex-wife, her husband, her 10-year-old son and the son's 11-year-old friend -- in 1998 in Marion County.

Barring an unlikely reprieve, Rodney Gray, 38, will be next to die a little after 6 p.m. this Tuesday for the 1994 murder of 79-year-old Grace Blackwell, who also was kidnapped, raped and robbed in Newton County.

Then 47-year-old Robert Simon Jr. is set to be put to death May 24 for killing four family members in Quitman County in 1990.

Texas and Ohio are the only states that have carried out three executions this year, according to the International Justice Project.

Of course, a truly up-to-date body count has Ohio in the lead for 2011 with four executions.  By the end of June, according to this DPIC list of upcoming executions, Texas will return to its usual place of leading state executioner.  But, at least for a few weeks, Ohioans can claim its state is now number one in state killing for 2011. 

May 17, 2011 at 12:26 PM | Permalink

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Comments

"A truly up-to-date body count"

Low blow from the Left.

Posted by: DaveP | May 17, 2011 1:01:57 PM

butchery

Posted by: Dott. claudio giusti, italia | May 17, 2011 2:06:09 PM

claudio
What do you consider "butchery." I guess you figure the 2 victims don't count in this drama because they were sleeping?

Posted by: DaveP | May 17, 2011 2:27:59 PM

What's a "low blow" about using the term "body count" DaveP? The point of the death penalty is to punish a live murderer by turning him into a dead body. I like to use strong but accurate terms to ensure we all take stock of the reality of our punishment choices. What term would you rather me use?

Posted by: Doug B. | May 17, 2011 2:37:17 PM

Doug B
I would rather read about a "body count" listing the victims that were killed by the Texas and Ohio inmates executed in 2011. No one talks about that except federalist, myself and a couple of others. You have your way of looking at it and I have mine.

Bedford complains about not remembering the crime because of dementia. The coward shot 2 sleeping people. What about that body count?

Posted by: DaveP | May 17, 2011 2:54:22 PM

do your prefer human sacrifice ?

Posted by: Dott. claudio giusti, italia | May 17, 2011 3:26:10 PM

"it's a bloody mess" - This type of hyperbole reporting is gross. What I would call a bloody mess is the crime scene where this killer executed 2 people with a .38 handgun and a shotgun. Calling a needle prick two or three time a bloody mess is disgraceful. Maybe if these lawyers had to visit the crime scene they would use their words more wisely. this killer got just what he deserved....27 years too late...

Posted by: DeanO | May 17, 2011 3:52:09 PM

On behalf of the abolitionists, I really would like to express my gratitude for the work that Dean0, DaveP, federalist and all the rest of you do to further our cause. People come here, they read the comments, and the core of the pro-dp crowd always sounds like a bunch of raving right-wing lunatics who have been up for six days straight snorting coke and watching the Rambo movies. It's awesome. The LAST THING WE WANT is a friendly, respectful guy like Berman setting the tone of the debate. Berman scares the hell out of us. He's like Justice Powell, but with a fetish for legalizing dope. Everybody likes him and all the cool kids want to take his classes. It's a nightmare. YOU GUYS, on the other hand, are great. The only problem we have with you is that you don't post nearly often enough. You need to flood this place, like Supremacy Claus does (and don't even get me started on how much we love Supremacy Claus, because we'll be here for hours). Seriously, guys, we love you. Step up your game.

Posted by: The Death Penalty Sucks. | May 17, 2011 4:38:48 PM

The Death Penalty Sucks: we would like to hear more from you. What a great post! I actually like Bruce Willis better.

Posted by: DaveP | May 17, 2011 4:50:00 PM

The Death Penalty Sucks:
just thought I would pass along that a judge who you probably admire a lot proved true to form today dissenting from another death case. Of course, it was Stephen Reinhardt, who holds the record for getting reversed the most. Leavitt v. Arave (CA9)

Posted by: DaveP | May 17, 2011 5:22:55 PM

For the record, I love all my commentors, especially when they really start mixing it up as is going on here. Also, for the record, the most recent murder body-count is in the neighborhood of 15,000 dead folks for 2009 (and the highway fatality body-count for the same year is about 37,000 dead folks).

Commentors are welcome -- indeed, encouraged -- to use the comments to list the names of victims or defendants whom they want to have acknowledged. And, obviously, such commentors can use their own names or pen names of interest when sharing what they consider appropriate in the comments. And thanks to all for the engagement on issues that I know get folks (justifiably) worked up.

Posted by: Doug B. | May 17, 2011 5:35:11 PM

It is a great Blog Doug. The Best.

Posted by: DaveP | May 17, 2011 5:40:13 PM

The Death Penalty Sucks --

Let's see. The pro-DP commenter side has DaveP, MikeinCT, guest, federalist, Soronel, David and Kent, among others.

You have that very soul of reasoned debate, claudio.

Go for it!

P.S. The pro-DP side also has Bill Clinton, George Bush, Barack Obama, the entire Supreme Court and our host, Robert J. Watkins/Procter & Gamble Professor of Law Douglas A. Berman.

Let me reflect for a moment about where a thinking man would want to sign up.

Posted by: Bill Otis | May 17, 2011 6:48:33 PM

Doug, I think the term "body-count" is off, since it is perjorative. It's akin to calling an execution a murder. In other words, the denotation is accurate, but the connotation is not.

Posted by: federalist | May 17, 2011 7:03:00 PM

Bill, Barack Obama says he believes in the DP. I doubt he really does.

Posted by: federalist | May 17, 2011 7:04:41 PM

DP Sucks--you know, I often throw down the gauntlet on substantive issues. Your side never even bothers to fight. You whine about me calling Sotomayor a hack, but never seem to be able to defend the "wise Latina". By the way, you will never hear me call Reinhardt a "hack". Dishonest and all the other names, but a dummy he is not.

Posted by: federalist | May 17, 2011 7:07:58 PM

federalist --

I doubted it too, and still do to an extent, but his willingness to actually blow Osama's head off gives me renewed hope.

Posted by: Bill Otis | May 17, 2011 7:16:20 PM

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