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Problems Alleged in Execution of Crips Co-Founder
streetgangs.com via LA Times ^ | September 6, 2006 | Henry Weinstein

Posted on 09/16/2006 9:24:38 AM PDT by mcg2000

Lawyers for another condemned inmate say Stanley Tookie Williams may have felt horrible pain.

Prison officials allowed the execution of convicted murderer Stanley Tookie Williams to proceed, even though a nurse had failed to hook up a backup intravenous line minutes before authorities delivered the lethal injection drugs, according to court filings made public Tuesday.

Defense attorneys for a man on death row at San Quentin cited the problem as part of a legal challenge to California's lethal injection procedure. Later this month, U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel in San Jose will hear the challenge, which asserts that condemned prisoners may not be properly anesthetized and therefore experience excruciating pain during executions.

Attorneys for Michael Morales also assert in the newly unveiled court papers that California's execution protocol "is performed by prison personnel with criminal records of misconduct and who lack skill, competence, professionalism, patience, stability, training, qualifications, mental health and the necessary character to perform executions and the tasks associated with executions."

The team leader during the execution of Williams, a co-founder of the Crips gang who was convicted in the 1979 killings of four people, was suspended for misconduct, the papers contend. No details were provided. Many paragraphs of the legal pleadings were blacked out, under an order issued by Judge Fogel earlier this year that nothing be made public that would tend to identify a member of the execution team.

The over-arching contention of Morales' lawyers is that California's lethal injection protocol, which was modified in March, violates the 8th Amendment's prohibition on the "infliction of unnecessary pain in the execution of the death sentence."

California's protocol "is implemented under unacceptable conditions that unnecessarily increase the risk of unconstitutional pain, including … obstructed views" that make it very difficult for prison personnel to see if an inmate is sufficiently anesthetized before the lethal drugs are administered, according to the papers submitted by attorneys David Senior, John Grele and Richard Steinken.

In addition, they say the procedure is flawed by inadequate lighting, remote administration of the drugs, unqualified management and "the absence of meaningful participation by properly licensed medical personnel."

Deputy Atty. Gen. Dane Gillette countered in legal papers that "conducting a lethal injection execution" under California's protocol "does not result in cruel and unusual punishment or deprive [Morales] of any right under the 8th or 14th amendments" to the U.S. Constitution.

Morales, 46, was scheduled to die in February for the 1981 slaying in Lodi, Calif., of teenager Terri Winchell. But state officials called off the execution after they were unable to meet conditions set by Fogel. California is one of several states where lawyers for condemned inmates have alleged that lethal injection, considered a more humane procedure than previous methods, often masks a painful death.

The California protocol calls for the inmate to be walked into the execution chamber and strapped onto a gurney. A nurse or medical technician inserts a catheter into the prisoner's vein, then leaves and the execution chamber is closed. A member of the execution team in an adjoining room inserts, in succession, three syringes containing the lethal drug cocktail into an intravenous line that flows into the prisoner.

How that procedure works in practice will be the subject of the court hearing starting Sept. 26. In preparation for the hearing, lawyers for Morales and California correctional authorities submitted a 22-page joint statement of "undisputed facts" and a five-page statement of "disputed facts."

The statements were drawn up by the lawyers after extensive pretrial discovery, including depositions of numerous individuals who have participated in executions at San Quentin.

Among the disputed defense contentions was that conducting an execution is "a surrealistic experience…. Warden Steven Ornoski was practically beside himself during the Stanley Williams execution."

Morales' lawyers painted a picture of earlier executions at San Quentin as chaotic and largely unmonitored by trained personnel. Wardens during the last three California executions refrained from looking at any part of the condemned inmate other than his feet, defense attorneys said.

During Williams' execution in December, a nurse struggled to start the backup line in the prisoner's left arm, then in frustration left the chamber without setting it properly.

As she exited, a member of the execution team said: "It wasn't flowing, the drip wasn't flowing." Before the door closed behind the nurse, a team member repeated, "The left wasn't running," according to the defense attorneys' filing.

Ornoski, standing in the center of the anteroom, said "Proceed" and the execution of the 51-year-old went forward, the defense said.

Corrections officials did not dispute other points raised by the defense, including:

• There is no doctor or registered nurse on the execution team at San Quentin and there is no requirement that a registered nurse be on the team.

• Execution team members are not required to undergo psychological testing.

• During the last eight California executions, team members did not practice mixing sodium thiopental, the fast-acting barbiturate that is supposed to anesthetize the inmate before the second two drugs — pancuronium bromide, which paralyzes the inmate, and potassium chloride, which causes cardiac arrest — are administered.

• The team member who handled the syringes during the last two executions was not trained how to make a visual inspection of whether the lines properly delivered the drugs.

• During Williams' execution, team members inside and outside the death chamber didn't determine or couldn't tell that the line was not set properly.

After Morales' execution was postponed, California in March revised its execution protocol. The state released a redacted copy of the protocol and said at the time that because of security reasons the unredacted document would not be released to the public.

Under the old protocol, the execution team first administered 5 grams of sodium thiopental. Under the new protocol, the execution team will initially administer 1.5 grams of sodium thiopental. Then, the state will administer 5 more grams of thiopental through an intravenous drip set at a rate that will take 20 to 30 minutes to run out — past the point the prisoner is expected to be dead. In the meantime, the two lethal drugs will be administered. According to the statement of undisputed facts, "no state other than California" uses an initial dose of sodium thiopental that is less than 2 grams.

*

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- henry.weinstein@latimes.com


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; US: California
KEYWORDS: aclu; bfd; bloods; capitalpunishment; corruption; criminal; crips; deathpenalty; drugs; gangs; la; murder; tookie; wgaf; williams
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1 posted on 09/16/2006 9:24:40 AM PDT by mcg2000
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To: mcg2000

I wonder how much pain his victims felt as they died. Were they executed humanely?


3 posted on 09/16/2006 9:26:25 AM PDT by nj26 (Border Security=Homeland Security... Put Our Military on the Border! (Proud2BNRA))
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To: mcg2000
Lawyers for another condemned inmate say Stanley Tookie Williams may have felt horrible pain.

And that, IMO, is a good thing.

4 posted on 09/16/2006 9:26:26 AM PDT by CrawDaddyCA (Tancredo/Paul 2008)
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To: mcg2000

The only problem I see is that it took too long and was basically painless.


5 posted on 09/16/2006 9:27:05 AM PDT by cripplecreek (If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?)
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To: mcg2000

Well BOO FRIGGIN HOO!!!!!!!!! Did he worry about his victims? He should have had the death by a thousand cuts. TOOKIE STILL DAED. Truely Machiavellian....the ends justify the means.


6 posted on 09/16/2006 9:27:44 AM PDT by shankbear
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To: mcg2000

Seeking microscopic violin.


7 posted on 09/16/2006 9:28:12 AM PDT by dighton
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To: mcg2000
Lawyers for another condemned inmate say Stanley Tookie Williams may have felt horrible pain.

So did his victims. I guess I'm just not very PC when it comes to the sensitivities of convicted murderers. Fry 'em.

8 posted on 09/16/2006 9:28:55 AM PDT by hsalaw
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To: mcg2000

Well,it is all idle speculation until Tookie testifies to what he either did, or did not, feel.


9 posted on 09/16/2006 9:29:37 AM PDT by steve in DC
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To: mcg2000
Lawyers for another condemned inmate say Stanley Tookie Williams may have felt horrible pain.

Okay.

11 posted on 09/16/2006 9:30:04 AM PDT by SandyInSeattle (Official RKBA Landscaper and Arborist, Duchess of Green Leafy Things)
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To: mcg2000

Here we go, beating a dead Tookie again.


12 posted on 09/16/2006 9:30:05 AM PDT by VeniVidiVici (Rabid ethnicist.)
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To: mcg2000

He died, yes? So what's the problem?


13 posted on 09/16/2006 9:31:06 AM PDT by RichInOC (...oops, did I say that out loud? Bad Rich. BAD Rich.)
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To: cripplecreek

14 posted on 09/16/2006 9:31:27 AM PDT by dighton
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To: mcg2000
By horrible pain they mean blissful and euphoric right?

It gets so confusing.

15 posted on 09/16/2006 9:32:14 AM PDT by avg_freeper (Gunga galunga. Gunga, gunga galunga)
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To: mcg2000
Lawyers for another condemned inmate say Stanley Tookie Williams may have felt horrible pain.

The more, the merrier, I say.

16 posted on 09/16/2006 9:34:31 AM PDT by JRios1968 (Tagline wanted...inquire within)
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To: mcg2000

I think that they should have used the Terri Schiavo Dehydration/Starvation Method of execution. It is claimed that it produces a euphoric manner of dying.


17 posted on 09/16/2006 9:34:43 AM PDT by Keli Kilohana (Editor, ZARR CHASM CHRONICAL [sic], Sore, WV)
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To: mcg2000

Quick, someone post the obligatory Clinton crocodile tear video clip.


18 posted on 09/16/2006 9:34:44 AM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist
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To: mcg2000

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.


19 posted on 09/16/2006 9:34:54 AM PDT by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: mcg2000
Stanley Tookie Williams may have felt horrible pain.

Well the sob was lucky, it only lasted a few minutes. I had a horrible toothache once that lasted all weekend till I could get to my dentist Monday morning.

20 posted on 09/16/2006 9:34:56 AM PDT by Hot Tabasco (Vote for me as your state representative, I need a high paying job with no accountability.....)
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To: mcg2000
Why don't we use the Guillotine ?

It is fast and reliable, if a bit messy. It works the same on everyone.

21 posted on 09/16/2006 9:35:03 AM PDT by Anti-Bubba182
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To: mcg2000
Lawyers for another condemned inmate say Stanley Tookie Williams may have felt horrible pain.

How much pain did he cause?

In other words I won't lose any sleep over Tookie regardless.

22 posted on 09/16/2006 9:35:21 AM PDT by Condor 63
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To: mcg2000

Did he do the Tookie Shuffle?

Shame if he did and I missed it.


23 posted on 09/16/2006 9:36:06 AM PDT by Eaker (Dix, TexasCowboy and Flyer all now live in the next best place to Texas . .. Heaven)
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To: steve in DC
Well,it is all idle speculation until Tookie testifies to what he either did, or did not, feel.

ROFL. I'm sure he'll testify via video conference from somewhere in Hell.

24 posted on 09/16/2006 9:36:16 AM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist
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To: mcg2000

Poor baby.


25 posted on 09/16/2006 9:36:30 AM PDT by Berlin_Freeper (ETERNAL SHAME on the Treasonous and Immoral Democrats!)
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To: mcg2000

Pain? so what. He has no right and society has no obligation to insulate from pain.


26 posted on 09/16/2006 9:37:49 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. Slay Pinch)
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To: mcg2000
Stanley Tookie Williams may have felt horrible pain.

Did I miss something in Civilization 101?

I thought the point of prison and the death penalty was to deter crime through being scared sh*tless vs being civil.

This looks like it promoted that theory in spades.
(oops. PC slip up)

27 posted on 09/16/2006 9:38:05 AM PDT by llevrok (When you take my gin from my cold, dead hand....)
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To: mcg2000

Dig him up and execute him again more humanely!


28 posted on 09/16/2006 9:39:11 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("If you're going through Hell, keep on going! Don't look back ... if you're scared, don't show it!")
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To: dighton

This one goes to -11


29 posted on 09/16/2006 9:39:13 AM PDT by cripplecreek (If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?)
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To: Anti-Bubba182

The old method of cutting off the head with a short knife is still working in varous islamic lands, and the old method of a rifle bullet in the back of the head still works in various communist and emerging former communist states, and can be done by rank amateurs with no training at all.


30 posted on 09/16/2006 9:39:31 AM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the law of the excluded middle)
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To: mcg2000

Horrible pain while being executed for crimes involving horrible pain for the victim? Sounds like justice to me...the true meaning of "an eye for an eye"


31 posted on 09/16/2006 9:39:44 AM PDT by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: mcg2000

Punishment is supposed to be swift and just. In my opinion, the pain Tookie Williams put the public through by keeping himself alive through appeals, outweighs any minor discomfort this puke may have felt as he was finally being put out of OUR misery.


32 posted on 09/16/2006 9:39:45 AM PDT by mass55th (Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway~~John Wayne)
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To: mcg2000
[Lawyers asserted that executions are] performed by prison personnel with criminal records of misconduct and who lack skill, competence, professionalism, patience, stability, training, qualifications, mental health and the necessary character to perform executions and the tasks associated with executions."

Yeah, but the only people we could find to take the job were all lawyers.

33 posted on 09/16/2006 9:39:55 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (The hallmark of a crackpot conspiracy theory is that it expands to include countervailing evidence.)
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To: mcg2000

So what's the problem here. He got caught and executed. It is, as they say, "the way the Tookie bumbles."


34 posted on 09/16/2006 9:40:49 AM PDT by Enterprise (Let's not enforce laws that are already on the books, let's just write new laws we won't enforce.)
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To: mcg2000
Good morning.

Didn't the late Tookie joke to friends about the noises his victim made as he died?

It's good that Tookies gone. Who's next?

Michael Frazier
35 posted on 09/16/2006 9:40:50 AM PDT by brazzaville (no surrender no retreat, well, maybe retreat's ok)
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To: mcg2000

I say dig him up and do it again until we get it right.


36 posted on 09/16/2006 9:41:06 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: avg_freeper
"By horrible pain they mean blissful and euphoric right?"

Perhaps they should switch from lethal injection to death by starvation since it's supposed to be such a "peaceful" way to go.

37 posted on 09/16/2006 9:41:18 AM PDT by mass55th (Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway~~John Wayne)
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To: mcg2000
...which asserts that condemned prisoners may not be properly anesthetized and therefore experience excruciating pain during executions.

And this is a bad thing?

The reason the death penalty isn't the deterrent it could be is the prisoners are all treated like pets being euthanized by a veterinarian while being hidden from the public as they slip off to sleep.

If we showed them screaming and moaning and pissing in terror as they were led to the gallows, the deterrent effect of the death penalty would be fully restored.

As it is, death for criminals who deserve it is so sanitary and abstract that the little idiots on the outside who are told some crimes can get you killed are just too stupid to see the consequences. Show Tookie and his ilk in the full light of day approaching an impending death full of pain and fear and they will be more likely to understand their own mortality.
38 posted on 09/16/2006 9:41:53 AM PDT by Dr.Zoidberg (Mohammedism - Bringing you only the best of the 6th century for fourteen hundred years.)
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To: mcg2000

I say dig him up and do it again until we get it right.


39 posted on 09/16/2006 9:42:36 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: mass55th

I remember reading that Tookie looked annoyed at the time it took them to find a vein and administer the injections. What was he thinking, "That's sixty seconds of my life I'll never get back."? My first reaction was that his travail would make a most excellent Snickers ad, "Not going any place soon?"


40 posted on 09/16/2006 9:42:57 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (The hallmark of a crackpot conspiracy theory is that it expands to include countervailing evidence.)
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To: mcg2000

awww.. send a cookie to tookie.


41 posted on 09/16/2006 9:43:12 AM PDT by Cinnamon
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To: dighton

.


42 posted on 09/16/2006 9:43:44 AM PDT by ichabod1 (Freedom of religion means freedom to practice IslamŽ)
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To: CrawDaddyCA

The lawyers in this case are subjecting me to horrible pain.


43 posted on 09/16/2006 9:43:49 AM PDT by Loud Mime (An undefeated enemy is still an enemy.......war has a purpose.)
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To: mcg2000
Stanley Tookie Williams may have felt horrible pain.His victims felt a worse pain and he didn't care. Its too bad that we waste time pandering to murderers. The bleeding hearts need to remember the Tookie could care less about about their pain either.
44 posted on 09/16/2006 9:44:19 AM PDT by oyez ( The older I get, the better I was.)
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To: mcg2000

Firing squad next time.


45 posted on 09/16/2006 9:44:51 AM PDT by don-o (Proudly posting without reading the thread since 1998. (stolen from one cool dude))
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To: mcg2000
Lawyers for another condemned inmate say Stanley Tookie Williams may have felt horrible pain.

Thanks for sharing.
46 posted on 09/16/2006 9:45:16 AM PDT by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: mcg2000
Corrections officials did not dispute other points raised by the defense, including:

• There is no doctor or registered nurse on the execution team at San Quentin and there is no requirement that a registered nurse be on the team.

What idiots these lawyers are. The AMA Code of Ethics prohibits doctors from participating in executions.

They might be allowed to sign the death certificate, but that's all.

47 posted on 09/16/2006 9:47:03 AM PDT by freespirited (We have met the enemy and it is Wal-Mart. ---The Democratic Party)
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To: mcg2000

This is not good news. While there's no doubt that Tookie Williams deserves what he got, it's important that officials who carry out executions do it right. Otherwise, the radical left will use it as an excuse to get not have executions at all.

Regardless of the crimes committed, executions should not be conducted in a careless and sloppy manner.


48 posted on 09/16/2006 9:50:45 AM PDT by Clintonfatigued (illegal aliens commit crimes that Americans won't commit)
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist

49 posted on 09/16/2006 9:50:50 AM PDT by Sue Perkick (The true gospel is a call to self-denial. It is not a call to self-fulfillment..John MacArthur)
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To: mcg2000
This is at the very top of my list of "Things I don't give two sh!ts about."
50 posted on 09/16/2006 9:51:26 AM PDT by 4yearlurker (12th district Freeper.)
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