FEATURED POST

Tennessee execution: Billy Ray Irick tortured to death, expert says in new filing

Image
Editor's note: Reporter Dave Boucher was one of seven state-required media witnesses at Irick's execution. 
Billy Ray Irick felt searing pain akin to torture before he died in a Tennessee prison in August, but steps taken in carrying out his execution blocked signs of suffering, according to a doctor who reviewed information about the lethal injection.
In new court filings entered late Thursday amidst an ongoing legal challenge of Tennessee’s lethal injection protocol, Dr. David Lubarsky said statements from people who witnessed the execution indicated the controversial drug midazolam failed to ensure Irick could not feel pain during his death.
As a result, the death row inmate “experienced the feeling of choking, drowning in his own fluids, suffocating, being buried alive, and the burning sensation caused by the injection of the potassium chloride,” Lubarsky wrote in the filing.
The document also says the state did not follow its own lethal injection protocol, raising questio…

Justice Kennedy: He swung left on the death penalty but declined to swing for the fences

Justice Anthony Kennedy
As in many other areas of the law, Justice Anthony Kennedy often provided the key fifth vote in death penalty cases during his three decades on the Supreme Court. 

Swinging to the right, Kennedy was a frequent supporter of restrictions on the availability of federal habeas review of capital cases, a skeptic of claims challenging the constitutionality of lethal injection and a relatively reliable vote against granting stays of execution in end-stage capital litigation. 

Kennedy will likely be remembered more, however, for his swings to the left, because he was the author of numerous opinions that broke new ground in the court’s Eighth Amendment jurisprudence.

Most importantly, he was the primary architect of the court’s proportionality doctrine that led to exemptions from the death penalty for offenders with intellectual disability, juvenile offenders and nonhomicide offenders. He also ultimately joined decisions embracing a broad right of capital defendants to present and have fully considered all relevant mitigating evidence. 

Finally, he was the first justice to raise concerns about the extensive use of solitary confinement on death row. Overall, he solidified the court’s role in subjecting American death penalty practices to frequent and detailed — though not particularly intrusive — constitutional regulation. 

Kennedy never joined calls from members of the court (Justices Harry Blackmun, John Paul Stevens, Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg) to reconsider the constitutionality of the death penalty as a punishment, but his jurisprudential glosses on the court’s proportionality doctrine arguably strengthen the case for judicial abolition.

➤ Click here to read the full article

Source: SCOTUSblog, Carol Steiker and Jordan Steiker, July 2, 2018. Carol S. Steiker is the Henry J. Friendly Professor of Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Criminal Justice Policy Program at Harvard Law School. Jordan M. Steiker is the Judge Robert M Parker Endowed Chair in Law and Director of the Capital Punishment Center at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law.


⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!



"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

New Hampshire death penalty stands as override falls short

Idaho Department Of Correction Can Keep Lethal Injection Drugs Secret, Judge Says

Double Dose: 2 executions in Texas next week

Florida: Trial for man accused of throwing daughter from Pinellas County bridge delayed

20 Minutes to Death: Record of the Last Execution in France

Nebraska: Convicted killer Anthony Garcia has been sentenced to death

'No Time To Sleep' to depict last day of death penalty inmate

Belarus: the Last Refuge for the Death Penalty in Europe

The Machinery of Death Is Back on the Docket

Virginia: Convicted killer, already facing death penalty, admits slaying 2 girls in Illinois in 2005