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Oklahoma | I went inside death row, what I saw made me sick - Henry McLeish

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The evolution of civilised behaviour, indicating a retreat from barbarism, has become a distinctive feature of most modern western democracies, but America often disappoints, retaining practices that shock, sadden, and in my case, nearly made me physically sick.
My visit to death row at McAlester State Penitentiary, Oklahoma, brought home to me, how the final setting for government sponsored killings, combined with execution by lethal injection, brought a brutal end to lives. And made a mockery of the idea of justice, offering instead a violent, humiliating, and inhuman act of revenge, with no serious pretence that any of these end of life dramas, provide any deterrence in criminal justice terms. Formerly known as “Indian Territory”, and home of the Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma, with a population of over 4 million, became a state in 1907. Located in America’s “Bible” belt, where there is a strong fundamentalist Christian tradition and powerful Republican politics, Oklahoma remains a pro…

Appeals court delays Texas execution set for next week

An East Texas man who asserts that he is intellectually disabled has won a reprieve from his execution scheduled for next week for a 2007 shootout that left 2 sheriff’s officers dead.

Randall Wayne Mays was set to receive lethal injection May 13 for the shootings at his Henderson County home.

In an order issued Thursday, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals issued an execution stay and remanded Mays’ case to the trial court in Henderson County for review of his intellectual-disability claim.

Mays’ attorneys say the 60-year-old suffers from delusions and thinks Texas wants to execute him over a renewable energy design he believes he created.

The Supreme Court in 2002 barred the execution of intellectually disabled people but has given states some discretion to decide how to determine mental disability.

Mays had previously won reprieves in October and in 2015.

6 other executions scheduled in Texas for earlier this year have been postponed because of the novel coronavirus outbreak statewide. 

Besides Mays' intellectual-disability claim, his attorneys had also asked the appeals court for an execution stay because of the pandemic. 

The appeals court did not address that request in its order.

The next execution in Texas is scheduled for June 16.

Source: The Huntsville Item, Staff, May 8, 2020


Texas Appeals Court Stays Randall Mays Execution on Issue of Intellectual Disability


The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has granted a stay of execution to Randall Mays, directing a Henderson County trial court to review Mays’ claim that he ineligible for the death penalty because of intellectual disability. 

The appeals court declined to address claims that Mays’ conviction and death sentence had been tainted by racial bias and juror misconduct and that he had been subject to improper interrogation by law enforcement.

On October 3, 2019, the trial court withdrew a previous death warrant amid questions of Mays’ competency to be executed. 

Prison mental health personnel had recently diagnosed Mays with schizophrenia and prescribed him anti-psychotic medication. 

A forensic psychiatrist reported that Mays’ mental health condition had deteriorated, that he had become increasingly delusional and incoherent, and that he was claiming that prison guards were poisoning the air vents in his cell. 

Mays’ competency issue is still pending before the Court of Criminal Appeals.

Source: Death Penalty Information Center, Staff, May 8, 2020


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

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