05 December 2007

online discussion december 7: the medical facade of state killing...

one of my colleagues sent me this invitation to participate in an on-line discussion THIS FRIDAY on lethal injection and now i'm passing along her invite in hopes that you'll be there too...

In December 2005, a registered nurse in California failed to properly insert a catheter in the arm of Stanley "Tookie" Williams, probably rupturing a vein and possibly leaving him unanesthetized during his execution. Although the rest of the execution team observed the problem, they did nothing to address it. Their cavalier response was that stuff like this happens all the time.

This story comes from an amicus brief (
Michael Morales, et al.) filed with the Supreme Court in the case of Baze v. Rees, in which lethal injection procedures have been challenged as cruel and unusual punishment. Ty Alper is Counsel of Record for this brief which details the litany of flaws in current lethal injection procedures, and the incompetence, negligence and indifference that pervades the business of execution nationwide.

Join Ty Alper in an online discussion of lethal injection on Friday, December 7 (1-2 pm EST, 10-11 am PST),
or ask a question in advance.

Ty Alper is the Associate Director of the Berkeley Law Death Penalty Clinic, which maintains
Lethalinjection.org, a web-based clearinghouse for information about legal challenges to lethal injection. And he is the author of Lethal Incompetence, published in the September/October 2006 issue of The Champion, the journal of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Join us for this important timely discussion on Friday!

In solidarity,

Sue Gunawardena-Vaughn
Amnesty International USA Director
Program to Abolish the Death Penalty

p.s: In the 25 years since Texas conducted the world's first lethal injection execution, on December 7, 1982, the cruelty of the procedure has become more and more apparent. In fact, no execution can be humane and that is one reason the death penalty must be abolished. Efforts to cover up this fundamental flaw with a medical facade have mired health professionals more deeply into the process, and Amnesty International is calling on health personnel uphold their ethical obligations and refuse to participate in executions. Support this effort by signing our Declaration on the Participation of Health Personnel in the Death Penalty.

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