Wed
Apr 30 2014
02:54 pm

The state of Tennessee recently passed a law that would outlaw the disclosure of pharmaceuticals and their sourcing for the conduct of executions. What could possibly go wrong?

By way of an instructive tale: Constitutional officer Mary Fallin, governor of Oklahoma, asserted the authority to dismiss the ruling of the Oklahoma Supreme Court that a stay of execution should be granted to Clayton Lockett, a man on Oklahoma's death row for homicide...

Before the sun had set Monday, just hours after the Oklahoma Supreme Court halted the executions, the Republican governor of the state, Mary Fallin, proclaimed that the executive branch would not honor the judicial stay preventing the executions. The Supreme Court's "attempted stay of execution is outside the constitutional authority of that body," she declared, so "I cannot give effect to the order by that honorable court."

Gov. Fallin then said she would recognize only the power of the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to guide her in proceeding with the execution of one of the prisoners, Clayton Lockett, on April 29. In other words, the head of the executive branch of state government had just proclaimed that she would not recognize a duly issued order by the state Supreme Court because she did not agree with it and because the other high court in the state, which did not favor a stay of execution to fully evaluate the injection secrecy issues, stood ready to implement her will.

The story gets worse.

Indeed it does, as Mr. Lockett was subjected to a botched and tortuous 46 minutes of convulsions, gasping, muttering, writhing, and apparent pain before his heart finally seized. The drugs used in the execution were undisclosed, as per the new secrecy law that allows the state to withhold that information. That was the item under consideration by the Court.

The madding crowd is apparently OK with this conduct out of its state officials, saying that Mr. Lockett actually deserved worse treatment than he received.

Unfortunately for these want-wits, and as abhorrent as his conduct was, the fact remains that a criminal is not bound by Constitutional prohibitions on inflicting cruel and unusual punishment on human beings. Governor Fallin is so bound.

Supposedly the death penalty was being imposed here because the state wanted to demonstrate its healthy respect for the Rule Of Law. However, in the conduct of literally torturing a citizen to death last night, the governor of the state and her enablers have demonstrated nothing but contempt for our Constitutional systems.

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Joe P.'s picture

Vile

Vile and inhumane.

gonzone's picture

You would think killing

You would think killing people is one thing we exceed at in this country.

Pretzel logic dictates that we must kill people to show it is wrong to kill people.

bizgrrl's picture

In the end, the argument over

In the end, the argument over what is the most “humane” way to kill someone only obscures the larger point, which is that, in the 21st century, the United States has no business putting people to death by any means.

Exactly.

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