Archive for

January, 2014



Dennis McGuire’s Execution by Suffocation

It took Dennis McGuire a staggering 15 minutes to die as he was executed for the 1989 rape and murder of Joy Stewart. On Thursday, January 16th, at the Southern Ohio Correction Facility in Lucasville, McGuire was given a previously untested lethal injection cocktail resulting in a prolonged period of suffocation. Of those who attended the execution, Alan Johnson of the Columbus dispatch shares the following account:

McGuire started struggling and gasping loudly for air, making snorting and choking sounds that lasted for at least 10 minutes, with his chest heaving and his fist clenched. Deep, rattling sounds emanated from his mouth.

The nature of McGuire’s death is described by many of those present as torture, as the administered combination of  midazolam, a sedative, and hydromorphone, a powerful analgesic, resulted in the symptoms described by Mr. Johnson above, also known as a sensation called “air hunger.” The duration of McGuire’s death and the visible signs of suffering he exhibited are stark indications of Ohio’s failed attempt to cover for the shortage of pentobarbital, the drug used for execution until Ohio ran out of its supply in 2009.

News of McGuire’s execution in Ohio has sparked conversation nationally and comes at a time when other states are actively seeking to repeal the death penalty. Both New Hampshire and Kansas are currently considering bills to end the death penalty.

The links below offer suggestions and ways to become involved in the national response to the events that occurred in Ohio on Thursday.

Take action now.

Photo from Huffington Post.

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual claim among men is the erectile dysfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile disfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as heart trouble. Albeit the erectile disfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile dysfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying health conditions that can be very dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile dysfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.

Top Prosecutor in Memphis Censured in Death Penalty Case

Thomas Henderson, a top prosecutor in the Shelby County District Attorney’s office, has been censured by the Tennessee Supreme Court for his actions in the death penalty case of Michael Rimmer as reported in Saturday’s Commercial Appeal. Henderson, a district attorney in Shelby County since 1976, currently supervises more than 50 trial attorneys who prosecutes felony cases in the county’s 10 criminal courts.

In 1998, Henderson secured a murder conviction and death sentence against Michael Rimmer for the murder of Rimmer’s ex-girlfriend, Ricci Lynn Ellsworth, though her body was never found. She was last seen at the Memphis motel where she worked as a night clerk. Her office showed signs of a struggle. Rimmer had served time for raping and assaulting her and was arrested in Indiana a month after the crime in a stolen car with her blood in the back seat.

In 2004, Rimmer was resentenced to death after an appeals court found that incorrect jury forms were used in his first sentencing.  In 2012, Rimmer was awarded a new trial by Criminal Court Judge James Beasley Jr.

Attorney Kelly Gleason, an assistant with the Office of the Tennessee Public Defender, filed a complaint against Henderson with the Tennessee Supreme Court’s Board of Professional Responsibility in November 2012 alleging misconduct in Rimmer’s case as well as other death penalty cases.

She said that in Rimmer’s case, Henderson failed to tell defense attorneys about both police and FBI records of an eyewitness, an Army sergeant based in Hawaii, who said that he saw two men at the motel around the time of the victim’s disappearance with blood on their hands.  According to the witness, these men  did not match Rimmer’s description. In fact, the witness identified another man, a local felon, in the photo array as one of the men that he saw. He did not select Rimmer’s photo, which was also included in the photo line-up.

The Memphis police identified the felon and his friend, who matched the artist’s sketch of the second man with blood on his hands, but cleared them both. Jailhouse informants said that Rimmer stated he would kill Ellsworth when he got out of prison, and the police and prosecutors were convinced of Rimmer’s guilt.

In preparation for the first trial,  Rimmer’s defense attorneys asked prosecutors about any evidence that might assist in exonerating their client, evidence to which they are entitled by law. Henderson wrote, “the State of Tennessee is now unaware of any evidence which tends to exculpate the defendant of the crime charged against him.”

Again in 2003, when attorneys were preparing for Rimmer’s resentencing hearing, Henderson wrote that, “the state is not aware of any ‘misidentification’ in this case.”

Judge Beasley, in his decision to award Michael Rimmer a new trial,  cited, “a substantial question as to (Henderson’s) honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer,” and found that the prosecutor “purposefully misled counsel with regard to the evidence.” The Judge did not disqualify the rest of the district attorney’s office from the case but ordered a new trial due to ineffective assistance of counsel, who did not thoroughly investigate the evidence which contained the report of the witness statement. Shelby County District Attorney General Weirich wrote in her statement concerning the censure, “Michael Rimmer has been awarded a new trial because his defense attorneys were ineffective, not because of any actions or inactions of the District Attorneys’ General’s office.”

Henderson agreed to plead guilty to a rules violation and accept a public censure, which is basically a symbolic slap on the wrist. Rimmer’s new attorneys are asking that the Shelby county DA’s office be removed from the case.

Today, the Commercial Appeal published an editorial calling for District Attorney General Weirich to remove her office from the case. The editorial, in commenting on Weirich’s assertion that Rimmer was awarded a new trial based on ineffective assistance of counsel and not misconduct by her office, states, “That may be, but the bigger problem is that one of her top prosecutors cheated, in our world -respected judicial system that is intolerable, in our judicial system honesty, integrity and a strict adherence to the rules of court procedure are sacred.”

Sadly, this kind of conduct is not isolated. In fact, other Shelby County death penalty cases were referenced in the original complaint against Henderson, and numerous cases exist of exonerated individuals across the nation sent to prison or death row who were convicted, at least in part, because of such misconduct. A disturbing article by Radley Balko also demonstrates that such behavior is more common than we would like to admit.

How can anyone trust our system to determine who lives and dies when those who are sworn to follow the rule of law bend the rules, and worse,  just don’t tell the truth?  This most recent revelation from the Shelby County DA’s office, a county which sends more people to death row than any other county in our state (40% of death row comes from Shelby County) and is the 13th county nationwide in the numbers of people sent to death row, should be a wake-up call to everyone. We cannot trust this system to make life and death decisions for anyone, particularly when we have alternatives available. Rather than moving to resume executions, this troubling example is another reason why Tennessee should instead be moving to repeal the death penalty.

Picture from About.com

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual appeal among men is the erectile malfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong heartiness problem such as heart trouble. Albeit the erectile dysfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile dysfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying health conditions that can be extremely dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile dysfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.

More Coverage of Death Penalty’s Decline

Even as Tennessee schedules executions for 2014 and 2015, the nation is moving away from the death penalty. A recent editorial in the New York Times discussed the slow demise of the death penalty for a variety of reasons including its arbitrariness,  racial bias, risk of error, and the debacle which is lethal injection.  Richard Dieter of the Death Penalty Information Center echoed its demise in his appearance on MSNBC a few days ago.

The evidence is overwhelming that this system is broken and is falling out of favor with more and more citizens. In 2013, death sentencing was near its lowest level since the 1970’s, and the number of executions dropped close to a 20 year low of 39.  And according to the recently released report from the Death Penalty Information Center, “The 2% Death Penalty,” the death penalty is becoming increasingly isolated.  In fact, only 2% of U.S. counties accounted for the majority of cases leading to executions since 1976 while only 2% of counties are responsible for the majority of today’s death row population and recent death sentencing.  Incidentally, Shelby County (Memphis) had the 13th highest number of people sent to death row out of all the counties in the country.

We can do far more to support victims and reduce crime by using the money and energy now spent in pursuing the death penalty to pursue initiatives that get at the root causes of violent crime and foster healing for families traumatized by murder. We can and must do better.

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual appeal among men is the erectile disfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as heart trouble. Albeit the erectile dysfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile malfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying soundness conditions that can be much dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile malfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.