January 12, 2005
Judge Rejects Novel First Amendment Argument to Halt Execution
From Findlaw.com: "A federal judge Friday rejected a death row inmate's
request to halt his upcoming execution on grounds that a chemical used
to paralyze condemned prisoners during lethal injections could impair
their free speech rights. Barring a successful appeal, U.S. District Judge Jeremy
Fogel's decision means that convicted double murderer Donald Beardslee
will be executed as scheduled at San Quentin on Jan. 19.
Legal experts said Beardslee's appeal was the first argument
of its kind in death penalty law. But Fogel was unpersuaded, saying at
a hearing Thursday that Beardslee 'hasn't shown a sufficient violation
of his constitutional rights.' He took the case under submission and
issued his ruling Friday afternoon.
Beardslee argued in an application for a temporary restraining
order to halt his execution that pancuronium bromide, the second of
three chemicals injected into condemned inmates at executions, could
violate his First Amendment rights by preventing him from telling
witnesses that he was uncomfortable or in pain. But in a seven-page ruling, Fogel said he was unconvinced that
there was any chance that an inmate would be conscious when receiving
the paralytic drugs because doctors first administer a strong
barbiturate, sodium pentothal. 'Even with protocols under which only two grams of sodium
pentothal -- as opposed to the five grams used in California -- are to
be administered, the likelihood of such an error occurring is so
remote as to be nonexistent,' Fogel said." More . . . [Mark Godsey]
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» Too feckin' stoopid from it comes in pints?
Some lawyers should be beaten senseless (assuming that's not redundant) for wasting the court's time and my tax dollars: A federal judge Friday rejected a death row inmate's request to halt his upcoming execution on grounds that a chemical used... [Read More]
Tracked on Jan 14, 2005 8:25:37 AM
Boy, I'm against the death penalty, but this one is a stretch. I mean, if they are going to take you out of the game, the incidental restriction on your free speech rights is rather trivial.
Posted by: | Jan 11, 2005 7:29:37 PM