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Showing posts from October, 2021

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USA | Parkland Case Challenges Us All to Figure Out What a Mass Murderer Deserves

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The ongoing sentencing trial of Nikolas Cruz, the 23-year-old Florida man who in 2018 murdered fourteen students and three staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day, will test whether the seven men and five women on the jury hearing his case can hate the sin but muster the courage to spare the life of the sinner. That is exactly what his defense team is asking them to do as they sit in judgment of the person who perpetrated one of this country’s most brutal mass murders. Like many death penalty defense lawyers before them, Cruz’s lawyers, to their credit, have not downplayed the gravity of the horrors their client inflicted in Parkland, Florida. Instead, during the sentencing trial, or what the journalist Dahlia Lithwick once called a “trial of the heart,” they have focused their attention on who Cruz is and the factors that shaped his life. As the Supreme Court said more than fifty years ago, in capital cases those who impose the sentence must consider “

Anger and blame pouring in after Oklahoma inmate convulses, vomits during execution

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) — It took John Grant nearly 20 minutes to die on Thursday. It was the first execution in the state of Oklahoma in nearly 7 years, after two botched executions and one failed attempt shut the death chamber down for years. Media witnesses to the execution, including Fox 25's Dan Snyder, saw Grant convulse more than 2 dozen times and vomit after being given the controversial drug Midazolam. People from across the nation are reacting to the news of Grant's death.  Anti-death penalty proponents and religious figures were the first to offer their thoughts on what transpired in McAlester on Thursday. "The unnecessary rush to restart executions in Oklahoma by the Governor and Attorney General is concerning and disappointing," said Archbishop Paul S. Coakley with the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. "There are other ways to administer just punishment without resorting to lethal measures." "Oklahoma's lethal injection protocol amounts to tor

Oklahoma | John Grant's execution raises questions

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The inmate who vomited twice during his execution Thursday was allowed to have food in his holding cell in the hours beforehand, exposing a possible shortcoming in Oklahoma's death penalty protocol. Corrections Department Director Scott Crow acknowledged at a news conference Friday that John Marion Grant had access to food throughout the day but said "at this point, no, we are not planning on any new changes." Six more executions are scheduled in Oklahoma through March 10.  An attorney for death row inmates said what happened was predictable. “As we have been saying all along, Oklahoma’s execution protocol does not include contingencies for problems that may arise throughout the execution process," said Dale Baich, an assistant federal public defender. "The Department of Corrections was in complete control of John Grant prior to and during the execution. It is shocking and defies basic common sense that the DOC execution team — that is supposedly trained — allow

Oklahoma won't change its death penalty protocol after execution of John Grant

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The Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC) director said Friday that the agency has no plans to change its execution protocol after a man allegedly convulsed and vomited during his lethal injection this week, the Tulsa World reports. RELATED |  Oklahoma prepares for first execution in nearly seven years on Thursday Why it matters: John Marion Grant's execution on Thursday ended a six-year moratorium in Oklahoma following several flawed lethal injection attempts. But witnesses reported seeing Grant convulse and vomit after midazolam, the first sedative, was administered, according to the Associated Press. Scott Crow, the Oklahoma DOC director, said that Grant did vomit, but denied that the 60-year-old convulsed, according to the Tulsa World. Crow said that after conferring with the onsite physician, he was told that "regurgitation is not a completely uncommon instance or occurrence with someone that is undergoing sedation." RELATED |  Oklahoma executes inmate who dies vo

Outcry after Oklahoma prisoner vomits and convulses during execution

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Witnesses describe gruesome scenes as John Grant, 60, put to death on Thursday in state’s first judicial killing for six years Oklahoma is coming under sharp criticism after witnesses to the state’s first judicial killing for six years described gruesome scenes of the dying prisoner convulsing and vomiting as he was administered the lethal injections . John Grant, 60, was pronounced dead at 4.21pm on Thursday at McAlester state penitentiary after he was injected with a triple cocktail of midazolam, vecuronium bromide and potassium chloride. Later, the department of corrections said the killing had gone “in accordance with protocols and without complication”. But eyewitness accounts from reporters at McAlester’s supposedly state-of-the-art death chamber gave a very different account. Dan Snyder, an anchor at the Oklahoma TV channel Fox 25, said that events went drastically off course the instant the first drug, the sedative midazolam, was injected into the prisoner. “Almost immediately

China executes Hongkonger with history of mental illness over drug trafficking

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A Hong Kong man who suffered from hallucinations and other mental health problems has been executed in mainland China where he was sentenced to death in 2017 for drug trafficking. The execution came hours after his parents visited him for the first time since he was detained five years ago. Fifty-year-old Wu Chi-man, who pleaded guilty to dealing 15 kilograms of methamphetamine in Shenzhen in March 2016, received a lethal injection in the early hours of Friday, a volunteer in Hong Kong who helped on his case told HKFP. Wu’s 80-year-old father and 78-year-old mother talked to their son in prison over a glass barrier hours before the execution. They had not seen Wu for years until the mainland authorities informed them weeks ago about a chance to visit the detained Hongkonger, and they knew it could be the last time to meet him. “They said that Wu looked healthy and emotionally stable, at the outset at least,” said Hannah, a volunteer at Voice for Prisoners who has been assisting Wu’s fa

Oklahoma executes inmate who dies vomiting and convulsing

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McALESTER, Okla. — Oklahoma administered the death penalty Thursday on a man who convulsed and vomited as he was executed for the 1998 slaying of a prison cafeteria worker, ending a six-year execution moratorium brought on by concerns over its execution methods, John Marion Grant, 60, who was strapped to a gurney inside the execution chamber, began convulsing and vomiting after the first drug, the sedative midazolam, was administered. Several minutes later, two members of the execution team wiped the vomit from his face and neck. Before the curtain was raised to allow witnesses to see into the execution chamber, Grant could be heard yelling, “Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go!” He delivered a stream of profanities before the lethal injection started. He was declared unconscious about 15 minutes after the first of three drugs was administered and declared dead about six minutes after that, at 4:21 p.m. Someone vomiting while being executed is rare, according to observers. “I’ve never heard o

Singapore | Intellectually disabled Malaysian to be hanged on 10th Nov. It is unclear if he understood his arrest, charges and impending execution.

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Man With Alleged Intellectual Disability Receives Death Sentence Scheduled For 10 Nov While the Singapore system believes in rehabilitation, certain crimes like drug trafficking can be subject to the heaviest punishment of a death sentence, often with little leeway for negotiation. On Thursday (28 Oct), activist Kokila Annamalai shared a Facebook post about Nagaenthran, who allegedly has an intellectual disability but was given the death sentence. His family, who resides in Malaysia, received a letter (pictured) informing them that his execution was scheduled for 10 Nov. This is how you're informed of when state murder of your child will take place in Singapore. Lawyer M Ravi said the execution of a mentally ill person is prohibited under human rights law and has arranged for an urgent meeting with Nagaenthran to try to save him. Execution scheduled on 10 Nov On Thursday (28 Oct), a letter received by Nagaenthran’s mother was shared in a Facebook post . The Singapore Prison Service

Whether Oklahoma can proceed with death penalty now in hands of US Supreme Court

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Oklahoma death row inmate John Grant was scheduled to be put to death Thursday afternoon. OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma's first execution since 2015 was scheduled for Thursday afternoon, but an appeals court granted a last-minute stay for two death row inmates. The state's death penalty and whether it can proceed is now in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court as Oklahoma death row inmate John Grant was set to be put to death at 4 p.m. Thursday at the state penitentiary in McAlester. At this point, it's unclear if the execution will take place. RELATED | Appeals court issues stay of execution for Oklahoma death row inmates Julius Jones, John Grant The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday granted a stay of execution for Grant and high-profile inmate Julius Jones.  Both are suing Oklahoma over the use of a drug, midazolam, which is used in executions. The federal appeals court said it would violate the inmates' rights to put them to death while their lawsuit is still pendi

Gaza | Hamas sentences six Israeli 'informants' to death

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Hamas takes a rigid approach to collaborators with Israel, which has put the impoverished enclave under blockade since the Islamists took power in 2007 The Islamist movement Hamas that rules the Gaza Strip announced Thursday it had sentenced six Palestinian "informants" to death for collaborating with Israel. The Hamas military court said it had issued sentences "against a number of informants, including six death sentences, other sentences varying between life terms and temporary hard labour, and one acquittal." Hamas takes a rigid approach to collaborators with Israel, which has put the impoverished enclave under blockade since the Islamists took power in 2007. In 2018 a Hamas military court sentenced six people to death for espionage, including a woman. The year before, three convicted in the assassination of a Hamas commander were hanged or shot by a firing squad in public. Hamas said Thursday that collaborators who turn themselves in will face more lenient term

Texas | Ex-nurse sentenced to death for killing patients

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TYLER, Texas (AP) — A jury sentenced a former Texas nurse to death Wednesday for killing four patients by injecting air into their arteries after heart surgery. The Smith County jury deliberated about two hours before condemning William George Davis to death. The 37-year-old Hallsville man’s sentence will be automatically appealed. The sentence came a week after the same jury found Davis guilty of capital murder. RELATED |  Former Nurse Convicted Of Capital Murder In Deaths Of 4 Heart Patients Jurors agreed with prosecutors that Davis killed four patients at a Tyler hospital in 2017 and 2018.  John Lafferty, Ronald Clark, Christopher Greenway and Joseph Kalina suffered unexplained neurological problems and died while recovering from their heart surgeries at Christus Mother Frances Hospital. During the trial’s sentencing phase, prosecutors played for the jury recordings of telephone calls Davis made from jail shortly after the Oct. 19 guilty verdict.  In a call to his ex-wife, Davis — a