Skip to comments.Update: Morales Execution Delayed - (CDC Official Calls Morales 'Upbeat' and 'Cooperative’)
Posted on 02/20/2006 9:39:36 PM PST by doug from uplandEdited on 02/21/2006 1:53:21 AM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]
UPDATE: CDC OFFICIAL CALLS MORALES 'UPBEAT' AND 'COOPERATIVE' 02/20/06 8:55 PST SAN QUENTIN (BCN)
In the hours before his execution at San Quentin State Prison, condemned inmate Michael Morales met only with his legal team and has been described by a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation official as "upbeat'' and "cooperative.''
Morales, 46, was moved into what is known as the death watch cell at 6 p.m. today, according to CDC spokeswoman Elaine Jennings.
The move came just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court denied Morales' final two appeals.
Jennings said Morales has been described as "upbeat'' and "very positive.'' He has also been "very cooperative'' with prison staff, she said.
He did not meet with family members or a spiritual adviser today.
Morales picked a last meal; however, details about the meal, as well as his last words, will be disclosed by the prison's warden after the execution.
Morales is scheduled to be executed Tuesday morning by lethal injection for the 1981 murder of 17-year-old Terri Winchell of Lodi.
Then 21, Morales strangled Winchell with a belt, beat her over the head with a hammer, then pulled her body into a vineyard where he raped her and stabbed her to death.
As part of a federal judge's order, an anesthesiologist will be present in the execution chamber to ensure that Morales is unconscious before his final drugs are administered, according to Jennings.
The anesthesiologist will not be identified and may choose to hide his identity, possibly using a surgical mask, Jennings said. An alternate anesthesiologist will be just outside the chamber.
Jennings said the drug cocktail -- 5 grams of sodium pentothal to stop muscle movement, 50 cc of pancuronium bromide to stop breathing and 50 cc of potassium chloride to stop the heart -- will remain the same during Tuesday's execution.
"This is our protocol,'' Jennings said, adding that her agency believes the lethal injection process is "humane'' and "painless.''
Five of Winchell's family members will be present during the execution. Morales has designated two witnesses, according to Jennings.
Update: Morales Execution Delayed
Feb 21, 2006 1:19 am US/Pacific
(BCN) SAN FRANCISCO The execution of condemned inmate Michael Morales has been delayed for at least one hour while the execution team reviews its roles during the process, according to San Quentin spokesman Vernell Crittendon.
San Quentin State Prison Warden Steven Ornoski wants to go over additional training for some of the new members of the execution team, which includes two anesthesiologists, Crittendon said.
Crittendon announced the delay at 11:30 p.m.
As part of a Federal Judge's recent order an anesthesiologist will be present in the execution chamber to insure Morales is unconscious before the final drugs are administered. An alternate anesthesiologist will be just outside the chamber.
Morales was scheduled to be executed today by lethal injection for the 1981 murder of 17-year-old Terri Winchell of Lodi.
Crittendon said Morales had not been notified of the delay. He said the execution warrant is good for 24 hours.
"There is no need for us to rush into this if the warden is not completely comfortable with the process," he said.
This is not the first execution to experience delays.
(Bay City News)
Morales Execution Delayed
LOL --- banned from FR at the minimum.
I hadn't seen it either until I just did a search. I almost peed my pants reading it.
Schwarzenegger Denies Late Request From Morales
CBS5 ^ | Feb 20, 2006
Posted on 02/20/2006 9:41:49 PM PST by nickcarraway
SAN FRANCISCO Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has denied a request by an attorney for condemned inmate Michael Morales that the governor reconsider granting Morales a clemency hearing.
Morales, 46, was convicted of the 1981 sexual assault and murder of 17-year-old Terri Winchell of Lodi, and is scheduled to die by lethal injection at San Quentin State Prison at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.
Schwarzenegger announced Friday that he had decided not to grant clemency to Morales, stating, "Morales' claim that he is a changed man does not excuse the brutal murder and rape of Terri Winchell."
On Sunday, Kenneth Starr, who is one of the attorneys representing Morales, wrote to the governor asking him to rethink his decision, citing reasons including that the judge who sentenced Morales now opposes his impending execution. Starr sent Schwarzenegger a follow-up letter on the matter today.
Shortly after 6:30 p.m. today, Schwarzenegger issued a statement denying Starr's request.
The governor did not make any further comments on the case, except to reiterate that every clemency decision "is made only after consideration of all the circumstances and careful deliberation."
Schwarzenegger's reply to Starr's request has likely sealed Morales' fate, as his legal options appear to have been exhausted.
This afternoon, the U.S. Supreme Court denied two requests by attorneys for Morales for a stay of execution.
The appeals involved two different arguments regarding the attorneys' allegations that California's current lethal injection process is unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment, and that a key prosecution witness lied at Morales' 1983 trial.
Morales' attorneys were not available for comment about the Supreme Court's rejection of their appeals.
Nathan Barankin, a spokesman for the state attorney general's office, said he is not aware of any pending legal actions by Morales' attorneys.
"There are no more legal appeals outstanding," Barankin said. Condemned for torturing, raping and murdering the 17-year-old high school student 25 years ago, Morales appealed Monday to the justices to block his looming execution, claiming that the testimony of an inmate used in his conviction is false, and that California's three-drug death cocktail, and the way it is administered, amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.
Morales and his attorneys complained that the prisoner might feel too much pain if the sedative he is given doesn't make him unconscious before a paralyzing agent and the final heart-stopping drugs begin coursing through his veins.
The Supreme Court has never directly addressed whether death sentences carried out by lethal injection are cruel and unusual punishment. The justices have upheld executions in general despite the pain they might cause inmates, but have left unsettled whether alleged pain in lethal injections is unconstitutionally excessive and can be avoided.
U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel of San Jose recommended that California employ two anesthesiologists -- one to be in the execution chamber with Morales and another nearby -- to ensure the inmate is unconscious before the two remaining drugs are injected.
Fogel issued the order after studying the medical logs of executed inmates and finding that there were "substantial questions" about whether prisoners were conscious and feeling unacceptable levels of pain.
On Sunday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Morales' argument that Fogel's order is not enough, a decision that is being appealed to the Supreme Court.
"In addressing Morales' concerns about the anesthesiologists' monitoring role, the court explicitly clarified that the anesthesiologists will take all medically appropriate steps necessary to ensure that Morales is and remains unconscious," the appeals court ruled.
Although similar versions of the injection method are used in 36 of the 38 states with capital punishment, Morales' lawyers argued the lethal cocktail still amounted to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
"The quick fix suggested by the district court is completely untested, has never been subjected to any comprehensive legal, medical or administrative review, and represents nothing more than a high stakes experiment with Mr. Morales' constitutional rights hanging in the balance," San Francisco attorney John Grele wrote in one appeal.
Dane Gillette, senior assistant attorney general, said Morales' rights would not be violated under the old protocol and won't with the new one.
"Because there is no doubt that he cannot and will not suffer pain if unconscious, the remedy crafted by the district court, though hardly necessary as a constitutional matter, provides Morales with precisely the form of assurance he demanded," Gillette said.
Another petition rejected by the appeals court, the subject of a separate appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, had the support of Ventura County Superior Court Judge Charles McGrath, who presided over Morales' 1983 trial after it was moved from San Joaquin County.
McGrath said he no longer believed the testimony of jailhouse informant Bruce Samuelson, who testified that Morales boasted of his assault and made obscene references to the victim. Samuelson told investigators that the two men spoke in Spanish, a language Morales said he doesn't speak.
"New information has emerged to show the evidence upon which I relied in sentencing Mr. Morales to death -- Mr. Samuelson's testimony -- is false," McGrath wrote in a statement Morales' lawyers submitted to the appeals court, to the California Supreme Court and in its petition for clemency to Schwarzenegger.
The California Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected that identical challenge without comment. Schwarzenegger, in denying clemency Friday, said ample evidence supported a death sentence despite the judge's concerns.
Most excellent, Norm!
Now write a letter to Doctor Lewin of the CMA.
Jack Lewin, M.D. has been the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President of the 35,000-member California Medical Association (CMA).
Dr. Lewin served as CEO of Hawaii's largest hospital system, was a key implementer of Hawaii's near-universal access system, served as an advisor to President Clinton, and was a practicing primary care physician for 15 years.
Dr. Lewin is also Chairman and founder of MEDePASS, Inc., a high-tech company which provides Internet security, confidentiality, and authentication for healthcare providers.
Dr. Jack Lewin, chief executive officer of the California Medical Association, said today he and other supporters of Proposition 72 will begin taking what he called "the Wal-Mart challenge" beginning Tuesday.
Lewin promised that supporters of the mandated employer healthcare law will show up at Wal-Mart parking lots and other locales accompanied by former Wal-Mart workers to take up a challenge laid down over the weekend by Wal-Mart executive Bob McAdam.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times published Saturday, McAdam said: "There's no proof that any of our associates are on public assistance. I defy anyone to prove it."
Prop. 72 supporters began airing TV ads over the weekend that cited a UC Berkeley Labor Institute study that estimated California taxpayers spend $32 million a year on healthcare for Wal-Mart employees and their family members who must rely on public programs for their healthcare.
How many former Wal-Mart employees will the Prop. 72 campaign produce? Lewin would say only that it is more than one.
The AMA, Ethics and Gun Control
Miguel A. Faria Jr., M.D.
Thursday, May 3, 2001
Part I: Full AMA Coffers to Push for Gun Control
The AMA is joining the gun prohibitionist movement in full force.
while AMA membership remains low, its coffers remain full. The AMA has plenty of money to fund gun control efforts and ingratiate itself with the establishment's media and the liberal left camp, which lately it has joined. Indeed, the AMA's finances are said to be in the best shape that they have been in over 15 years, despite dwindling membership and questionable relevance to health care policy and medical affairs.
In the March/April 1998 issue of the Medical Sentinel, we reported that in 1996, three AMA officers were paid more than $200,000 for their time "playing politics" within organized medicine. AMA reimbursement figures then, according to Physicians Weekly, were:
AMA Officers - Position held in 1996 - Reimbursement Figure
Dr. Lonnie Bristow Immediate Past Pres. $ 229,540
I'm on this 'death watch.'
"One option was to administer only the sedative sodium thiopental. The five milligram dosage is lethal by itself, but could prolong the execution by 40 to 45 minutes."
A commonly used injected barbiturate anesthetic is sodium thiopental, also known as Pentothal. This drug is fat-soluble and acts very quickly. If you receive sodium thiopental and then you are asked to count backward from 100 after the drug is injected, you probably won't remember counting past 95.
Sodium thiopental is a short acting barbiturate which is used widely as an anesthetic and normally causes unconsciousness very quickly if injected into a vein.
In most cases, the prisoner is unconscious about a minute after the Sodium thiopental has been injected and is dead in around 8 minutes, with no obvious signs of physical suffering.
After 23 blows, Morales carried her, unconscious and dying, out of the car, dragged her to a vineyard, raped her and stabbed her four times.
The words "cruel and unusual" should be well known to the man who raped and killed 17-year-old Terri Winchell on Jan. 8, 1981.
Morales choked Winchell with a leather belt. He used such force that the belt broke but failed to kill the young woman. Next, he took a hammer and pounded her skull 23 times, fracturing her jaw and cheek bones and shattering the base of her skull.
That still did not kill her, so he raped her and plunged a knife four times into her chest, leaving her to die in a Lodi vineyard.
Death penalty opponents who gathered outside the prison in the cold Monday evening included retired Episcopal priest Lyle Grosjean of San Francisco, who had led a group of about 15 people on foot across the Golden Gate Bridge.
"We're against any gratuitous violence,'' said Grosjean, who has protested executions at San Quentin since 1959. "The death penalty doesn't have to happen.''
Ruth Enero of Modesto, who accompanied Grosjean, said it was her 12th execution-eve walk. "I know that executing Michael Morales does not do anything to resurrect Terri Winchell,'' she said.
I remember reading about her brutal, gruesome murder. This cretin deserves a slow, painful death, not a peaceful needle, but we're lucky to still have the death penalty in CA.
Over here on the death watch thread. I am trying to stay up for another 40 minutes.
Death watch thread, do you guys have popcorn??
Are they having any sort of live TV presser on the Internet somewhere? Something to justify me staying up? ;)
LOL -- well, sort of, if toasted garlic bread counts?
BTW, were you? Banned from DU? LOL
no beat tomorrow
Wonder how they feel about abortion.
This thing deserves a slow death.
When I worked at Superior Court here in San Diego I saw
plenty. Also the over 13 yrs. I was a Legal Support Asst.
with the County Attys I worked on homicide cases that made
me sick. Movies were made of a few of the cases.
Are there huge crowds protesting this execution? Like with Tookie? Aren't CNN and Fox there?
Most times, I can barely read about the crimes. I have nightmares. Brutal and absolutely sickening. I can't, won't and don't read about the deaths of children at the hands of monsterous murderers. Those murderers should be tortured to death. Slowly, gruesomely and in full view of the public.
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