Can someone please explain to me how this is not cruel and unusual punishment:
The State of Ohio plans to try again next week to execute a convicted rapist-murderer, after a team of technicians spent two hours on Tuesday in an unsuccessful effort to inject him with lethal drugs.
This is the first time an execution by lethal injection in the United States has failed and then been rescheduled, according to Richard C. Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, in Washington.
The only similar case in modern times, Mr. Dieter said, occurred in Louisiana in 1946, when electric shock failed to kill a convicted murderer, Willie Francis. He was electrocuted the next year, after the United States Supreme Court ruled that executing a prisoner in the wake of a failed first attempt was constitutional.
Tuesday’s one-week postponement was ordered by Gov. Ted Strickland after he was alerted by the Ohio corrections department that technicians at the state prison in Lucasville, some 70 miles east of Cincinnati, had struggled for more than two hours to find a suitable vein in either the arms or the legs of the inmate, Romell Broom, 53.
Broom kidnapped, raped and murdered a 14 year old girl and is quite clearly a scumbag of the first order, but that is just crazy. We need to enter the civilized world and end the death penalty.
Amen to that John. But our political “leaders” won’t be proposing that anytime soon. Like Barack “Let’s execute” for child rape Obama….
Welcome to the Culture of Life*
*Void where prohibited
Or we could just go back to good old-fashioned hangings in the public square. Think of the money that could be made by televising them.
Boy, I guess Glenn Beck better watch out if he gets convicted.
MOTHER GOOSE, You PUSSY!
People mock West Virginia, but how many inmates do we have on death row?
West Virginia is a civilized state. We don’ t have the death penalty.
In happier OT news, Pavement is reuniting for a show in September of 2010 in Central Park. Other dates may be forthcoming. That sound is me wetting myself.
Blood fueled public execution porn has already been done. It was entitled “The Passion of the Christ”.
Absolutely cruel and unusual punishment. After that, they ought to just let him go. You can’t tell me that hasn’t changed him. Maybe not enough to cure the poor bastard, but we have plenty of homicidal lunatics in this country. What’s another one gonna hurt?
As long as we have pigs like Scalia on the Supreme Court, we’re going to be stuck with the death penalty. I am hoping Obama gets his act together on healthcare, because I want to see him popular enough to get re-elected if for no other reason but to give him some more opportunities to nominate SCOTUS judges.
Reminds me of the Right to Life*
*No longer valid after birth.
I agree about ending the death penalty, even for guys like this.
Having said that, it does seem bizarre that they’d spend two hours dicking around with needles. A headshot with a .44 would have got the job done in seconds, and would probably have been far less traumatic for the victim. Sound barbaric? Well, killing is killing, whether done with poisons or a bullet. The point of using injections seems to be to distance ourselves from the fact that we’re committing a (state sponsored) murder. At least using the gun would be honest.
Its sad that we live in a society where ending death penalty is considered soft on crime. Its espceially galling that majority of people who think like this consider themselves pro-life staunch christians: They are just too happy to see some pay for the crimes with their life.
I also remember when the pro-life Huckabee said Jesus was for the Death Penalty.
@JHF: Woah. Slow down.
That guy should spend every last minute of his life safely housed in a maximum security prison.
This isn’t political at all, but it is Fox news and it’s hilarious and there hasn’t been an open thread for a bit:
Get in on the ground floor of the next meme.
@gizmo: Isn’t Justice Stevens supposed to retire next year?
Popcorn futures are looking good in my non-death penalty state of RI.
As long as the guy has an IQ below 60 then this seems perfectly reasonable. What am I missing here?
Not knowing anything about the case or the trial, I think I’d restrict myself to “Broom was convicted of kidnapping, raping, and murdering a 14 year old girl.” We have ample examples of the fallibility of the courts when it comes to capital trials.
The test for a finding of cruel and unusual punishment is easy:
Is the accused a colored fella?
If no: we’ll look into it.
if yes: not cruel and unusual.
Edit: the test may be complicated by the introduction of the “technical thug” doctrine by Dave Riehl.
Well it just shows the staggering amount of stupidity and hypocrisy when it comes to the Death Penalty. The State gets the guy convicted, the prosecutor gets his DP sentence, the guy gets all the way to the end — but when they find they can’t find a fucking vein they postpone it. Why not just put a fucking plastic bag over his head? Why not cut his jugular vein? He’s strapped down anyway. He’s sentenced to a state-sanctioned death. On what possible fucking planet would it matter how he dies?
On the planet that has tap-dancing legalese about the “proper” way to kill someone. The need to follow proper bloodlust etiquette is just impossibly grotesque.
I hate the death penalty, this just shows what a gruesome sham it is. Keep him in prison.
>> Its espceially galling that majority of people who think like this consider themselves pro-life staunch christians:
Well, the symbol of their religion is an implement of torture and execution.
Disagree. I’d go with what one of the ACLU lawyers said…
A rapist/murderer of a 14 year old deserves competence.
Or what jimBOB said before me. D’oh!
Completely off-topic, but you know you’re a balloon-juice addict when you get mugged because of it. I was just walking through Central Park and could not keep away from reading the assorted hilariously snarky comments on my iPhone and a kid grabbed my phone and took off. S’okay; I ran after him yelling, “Stop him! Thief! Stop!” like a crazy lady until he threw down the phone, but I definitely need to tuck the thing away when in the park. Balloon-juice will still be there for me when I get back to the desk.
How do you NOT INJECT ENOUGH DRUGS to kill someone when that’s your object?
Jesus, just give him enough to put him under than double it then inject something that’s actually lethal in high doses. Like, I dunno, insulin. What’s with the carefully measured doses, you afraid of harming the patient?
2nd attempt for off-topic hilarity: Ernie Anastos: “Keep fucking that chicken”.
Use headphones if you’re at work.
Sorry that happened to you. Glad you’re safe.
I’ve never been able to support the death penalty, on purely moral grounds. And if Obama supports capital punishment, at least in certain situations, well, that’s one area in which he and I part ways. Life imprisonment may not be cheap, but IMO it’s a necessary expense that’s part and parcel of being a truly civilized society (along with universal health care and decent quality education).
Ella in NM
In my line of work, we have three words for this kind of situation:
Central. Venous. Line.
Leelee for Obama
“What’s with the carefully measured doses, you afraid of harming the patient?”
And the craziness of swabbing the inmates arm before inserting the IV?
Ella in NM
Ernie Anastos: “Keep fucking that chicken”.
Can someone explain that phrase to me? I’ve never heard it before. Really.
My all time favorite is Sue Simmons’ “What the FUCK are YOU Doin’?”
Leelee for Obama
Dayum! This makes me all nostalgic for New Yawk! Ernie and Sue were favorites of mine!
The Tragically Flip
The same people who believe that a “ham sandwich” can get indicted by a grand jury, and hate all judges as “activists liberals” legislating from the bench and are afraid of the state telling them to wear seatbelts or to eat less transfats are yet comfortable giving those ham sandwich indicting prosecutors and activist judges the power to put people to death.
I have no idea. His wikipedia page has one hypothesis, but if you go back and listen to the video again, he didn’t come close to saying “plucking.”
The poor guy has “won 28 Emmy Awards and nominations and was nominated for the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award” but this is what he’s going to be remembered for.
Men who rape should be exiled and never allowed back.
And in other, far more pleasant news, the Newlywed Game is going gay. (h/t GOS)
Shawn in ShowMe
Never send in the state executioner to do a college student’s job. Send in the kid with the samurai sword
That is a bit dumb, but I can see the black humor. What’s next, the inmate being told to pick his last meal from a selection of low-fat, high-fiber heart-friendly choices? I’d be fine with the executioner carrying a sidearm. Plan B.
Give the guy a chance!
Give the guy a chance – this was only the 2nd teenage girl he was convicted of raping, and he didn’t kill the first. Whatever happened to three strikes? OH needs to show some compassion, STAT!
Romell Broom, East Cleveland teenager’s convicted killer, asks Ohio Parole Board to spare him from death sentence
Posted by Reginald Fields/Plain Dealer Bureau Chief August 20, 2009 17:59PM
COLUMBUS — Bessye Middleton has waited 25 years to see her daughter’s killer put to death. On Thursday, she urged the Ohio Parole Board to get on with it.
“It’s time for him to go. That’s all I got to say,” said Middleton, of East Cleveland, during a clemency hearing for death row inmate Romell Broom. “He’s got to go.”
But Broom’s attorneys argued their client didn’t get a fair trial in 1985 — the year after 14-year-old Tryna Middleton was abducted at knifepoint, sexually assaulted and stabbed to death — because East Cleveland police shielded records that may have changed the outcome of the case.
They asked the board to recommend that the governor allow Broom, 54, to escape his Sept. 15 execution and have more time to argue his case.
“If he would have gotten a fair trial in 1984 we wouldn’t be here today,” said Broom’s attorney Tim Sweeney. “If he was not acquitted, certainly he would not be on death row.”
This is the second time Broom’s case has ticked toward the 11th hour. He had been scheduled to die in October 2007, but he joined an inmate lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Ohio’s lethal injection method and won a stay of execution. That challenge has since been dismissed.
Broom’s lawyers are waging a careful defense by questioning the lifestyle of the victim and her friends but trying not to be insensitive about the girl’s tragic death.
Police records indicated that Middleton and two other teenage girls she was walking with at dark from a high school football game had been drinking beer and smoking marijuana. They were also thought to be sexually active and known to jump in cars with strangers, according to records.
Those two friends, Bonita Collier and Tammie Sims, said that Broom also grabbed them that night, Sept. 21, 1984, shortly before midnight. They fought him off while Tryna was dragged away. Tryna’s body was found a few hours later in a nearby abandoned parking lot.
Broom, who had previously served time for raping a 12-year-old girl, was convicted of the abduction, rape and murder largely based on the testimony of the two other girls.
In July, the 8th Ohio District Court of Appeals said that the suppressed police records can be presented to the trial court for a possible new trial for Broom. His attorneys have to convince Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court that the records probably would have changed the outcome of his case.
But it is unclear whether Broom’s attorneys will get a chance to make that argument before his execution.
Matthew Myers, an assistant county prosecutor, told the parole board that he does not believe the records would have changed Broom’s conviction or punishment.
“I think it is an outrage to blame the victim at this point,” Myers told the board. “I think it is a desperate attempt to avoid the inevitable.”
Bessye Middleton also chided Broom’s legal team.
“If you had a daughter, would you want me to belittle her as you have my daughter?” Middleton turned to ask Broom attorney Adele Shank. “I know you are an attorney and you have a job to do, but I do not appreciate it.”
Shank, while later addressing the board, turned to Middleton to apologize for making her feel “like we’re picking on Tryna, because that’s not our goal here.”
The parole board will make a recommendation to Gov. Ted Strickland next Friday on Broom’s clemency request. Strickland does not have to follow the recommendation.
Good to hear that you are OK.
Is there any kind of app to locate a stolen iPhone?
Hangings are actually pretty hard to do well. If the knot and the drop aren’t just right, the neck doesn’t snap and the person hangs there choking.
General Winfield Stuck
And now for more a the story
Just Some Fuckhead
@Carnacki: We’re picking up yer slack here in Virginia.
Related topic: the execution date for John Allen Muhammad was set yesterday. Looks like November 10th. I may go down to liveblog the inevitable tailgate party.
Sigh. Remind me again how many modern democracies have no universal health care and the death penalty?
General Winfield Stuck
@Just Some Fuckhead:
We just repealed the death penalty here in NM. Used it only once and had to ask Texas to assist, which of course they happily did to execute a guy who was threatening to sue, or did, I’m not sure, if we didn’t kill him sooner rather than later.
Dark dark comedy. If I can use that term.
The possibility of innocence is the only thing that prevents me from saying, “Hang him. Shoot him. I don’t care.”
From the UK, the latest DNA exoneration (“Police reveal true killer in 1979 murder case that led to innocent man spending 27 years in jail”).
Trick question. The answer’s zero.
@Give the guy a chance!:
Fuck you. Since you obviously don’t give a shit about the argument or what, exactly, people are talking about here — hell, you don’t give a shit about the victims either. They’re just cudgels for people like yourself to feel better about the state killing other people. Cheap minds are easily swayed by bloodlust, actually.
I have ZERO problem with him spending the rest of his life in jail, assuming he is guilty of the crime. But it is touching how much you NEED him to die and, assuming that you are neither part of or know anyone in his victims’ families, how happy you are now when, if this hadn’t happened, he would have died without your knowledge of it or of his crime.
This is what happens when you really do believe the cartoon version of liberalism you’ve constructed. In a sane world, we’d be talking about the Bill of Rights and how it applies, maybe about the Enlightenment and what lessons we could learn about the state mechanizing legal murder or maybe even about an ethical philosophy of law which either accepts or condemns arbitrary invocation of the death penalty for certain crimes and not others equally as ghastly based often times on race, class and chance.
But no. Instead it’s like talking to an adolescent.
GPS. Our two kids have GPS enabled cell phones. We can see where they (actually the phones) are at any time.
Grumpy Code Monkey
As for the comments along the lines of “why didn’t they just shoot him/put a plastic bag over his head/inject him anyway”, remember the sticking point is “cruel and unusual”. Any method of execution can be botched, and any botched execution can inflict the kind of pain that falls under “cruel and unusual.”
I do agree with jimBOB; we’re not being honest with ourselves over what the death penalty means. If we as a society have decided that someone has committed a crime so awful that death is the only appropriate punishment, we shouldn’t be so damned squeamish about carrying out that punishment.
Personally, I would be thrilled if we eliminated the death penalty, although for slightly different reasons; given the number of death row inmates that have been exonerated after re-evaluating evidence, it’s virtually certain that at least one innocent person has been executed at some point, which invalidates the whole goddamned system.
Give the guy a chance!
Chill out Jay B. – I’m not a gung-ho death penalty advocate, just indifferent in this case. If the guy raped a 12 year old girl, and then raped and murdered a 14 year old, Rommel Broom seems like a poor candidate for making a case against the death penalty (regardless of the fact that the executioners botched the first try). I’m sorry if sharing some additional background on the guy hurt your sensibilities this much, or weakens the case for doing away with the death penalty – it doesn’t IMO. Interesting how the sites trying to generate sympathy for the guy don’t mention that he had a prior for raping a 12 year old though; credibility would have been bolstered by being more honest about Rommel Broom’s crimes.
If you want to gin up sympathy for your cause I think it’d be better to focus on the cases where the state was clearly in the wrong, or where there’s some substantial doubt about guilt, and executed someone who was likely completely innocent; the case in TX that was recently covered in the New Yorker was tragic. If more folks could read that I think you’d have more folks who support your viewpoint. I just don’t think you’re going to win many people over on this one – as soon as someone digs a little and sees that the defense’s best case for an appeal rests on pointing out that the victim smoked dope and was promiscuous, support for and interest in Broom are likely to wane.
Ultimately I think it comes down to a question of who you sympathize with. Right now most of the story on this execution is devoted to the botched attempt to kill Broom. I can understand cap punishment opponents wanting to focus on that – but omitting Broom’s victims’ side of the story seems a bit dishonest. The only way you’re going to build significant opposition towards the death penalty over the long run is by getting people to sympathize with the idea that the criminal justice system, and capital punishment in particular, are inherently unjust and stacked against poor folk, minorities, etc. It’s not a hard case to make. What is hard is getting most folks to sympathize with someone who appears to be a repeat child rapist and murderer. Do I care if the guy dies next week? Hell no. I’ll have forgotten about this whole thing by COB today. That story in the New Yorker is something else altogether – that one will stick for awhile. If this were an issue on my state’s ballot I’d support it (outlawing CP), in no small part because of that feature. In general
FWIW, I don’t think you’re going to have much luck with citing constitutional arguments, ethical positions on the matter, or even data points that indicate the practice doesn’t actually prevent crime. We don’t live in a sane world – never have and never will – so pure logic isn’t going to help in this case or any other. The way to turn the tide I think is in ginning up sympathy for the idea that the system is flawed, and the way to do that is through finding stories of unwarranted suffering that are human and easy to relate to. This would have been one of those cases had Broom’s crimes not been so horrendous. Unfortunately the pro-CP side is usually a bit more adept at generating sympathy for the victims of those on death row. Get better writers, journos, etc – whatever it takes to help those of us on the outside relate to the victims of the criminal justice system. I’m not religious, not a Rawlsian, or much of an ethics scholar in general. And CP (pro or con) just doesn’t get my blood up. But I think Rorty’s stuff on solidarity makes sense in this case – if you want blood thirsty schlubs like me to jump on the anti Death Penalty bandwagon, find a better martyr than Rommel Broom. Even he seems resigned to his fate based on the the articles I’ve read – which actually is kind of sad. But the guy is apparently a child rapist, and a murderer, so I’m not sure exactly how the world is going to be a demonstrably poorer or sadder place after the state wacks him.
Can’t they commute it to a life sentence since they screwed up? I mean haven’t we gone far enough from axemen chasing royals around the block?
Wrong, the answer is unfortunately, one.
Oh, I think putting scumbags down would be fine, if I trusted the government to find and convict the right man and carry it out competently.
As I’m starting to see, they are increasingly incapable of the first task and becoming incompetent on the second.
So yeah, unfortunately, we should probably suspend the death penalty indefinitely.
Thank you, and yes, apparently there is an application that will locate your iPhone- I think you have to set it up through mobileme (haven’t done it yet). I’ll be looking into it, for sure.
Oh hell, I’ll say it: While I oppose capital punishment because of all the innocent people who seem to continually turn up on death row, I have no problem with evil fuckers like this dying in the cruelest and most unusual ways possible.
# 58 – Comrade Dread
Agreed to some extent
But I also think that its not the place of the state to punish by killing — As much as emotionally I despise some of the horrible crimes committed by some — and emotionally in the short term, could see them dead, I pause when I consider the hand of the state doing that. I just don’t believe that is right somehow…
Scumbags should be taken out of circulation from society for life — imprisoned for life.
Jesus was also a victim of capital punishment who EXPLICITLY argued against the death penalty in the Gospel of John, Chapter 8. Arguing that Jesus was pro-death penalty is unspeakably dishonest, but it’s on par with the kinds of people who could answer, unironically, a question like “Who would Jesus bomb?”
@Give the guy a chance!: Fuck sympathy. The question is “is the death penalty acceptable or not?” The has to work for everyone, no matter how nasty the crime. If you don’t feel sympathy for this guy, fine. But don’t use the scumbag as means for denigrating the argument that the death penalty is acceptable or not. This kind of chicken shit, appeal to the emotions argument really pisses me off.
@Give the guy a chance!:
Did you not read the part your post that referred to the police suppressing evidence? This happens *a lot* more than you would want to believe.
Or the fact that it seems to, from your post, that Broom was convicted solely on their testimony. As for eyewitness identification, it is notoriously unreliable:
Frequently the witness who might say “75 percent” during the first week after the crime has arrived at “99 percent” by end of the direct examination.
These two factors constitute the most common reasons innocent people are sent to prison/death row.
Now, if after having a retrial (suppressing the eyewitness ID and presenting the possibly exculpatory evidence) a jury finds that he is guilty, give him life w/out parole. That is a much harsher punishment than death.
I don’t have any problem with the death penalty in theory. If you kidnap, rape, and murder a 14 yro girl i wouldn’t have any problem with a mob kicking you in the throat until you’re capital-D Dead. In theory.
In reality, the death penalty is a government program, defendants get shitty attorneys, cops lie all the time, stupid jurors believe them, and innocent people get executed. It can’t be undone, and I can’t support it.
Yeah, I can understand that distaste. I share it to a certain extent. Beyond the fallibility argument against it that sways me, there is also the fact that when you vest a government with the authority to put people to death, there always remains the possibility that they will misuse and abuse that power.
We can do our best to control that and put checks on their power, but there remains the possibility that the government could abuse that power.
But in a perfect world, I think some crimes are so heinous that death would be a valid penalty.
In that world, though, I would probably add an additional level of clemency and vest the victim’s next of kin or closest relative with the power to commute the sentence to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
Is there any kind of app to locate a stolen iPhone?
Ironically, whether it’s an iPhone, an iPod, a Zune, a Kindle, a cell phone, just about anything that downloads from the web – the companies that make these products know very well where the stolen application is. But a) they don’t want to get involved with police, and more importantly b) you’ll have to order a new item – good for the company – and the criminal may want to get service for the old item. Now the company has 2 customers.
Which would be called fencing.
joe from Lowell
That is just wrong. The British had a doctrine that, if the hangman’s rope snapped, it was an act of God, and the sentence was commuted to life.
It’s interesting how the sterility of technology can make barbarians of us.
Nobody mentioned Death Row Marv? After 68 posts?
That the best you can do, you pansies?
Absolutely right. This poor guy, who merely raped and murdered a teenage girl, should be shown a little more kindness than this. Shame, America! Shame! Seriously though, this guy should be beaten to death with aluminum baseball bats by 12 of his peers. How can any sane person have pity or give a shit about a raping fucking monster, I cannot fathom. I prefer criminals either doing hard fucking time or burnt to a crisp. I could pull that lever in a second, and sleep like a fucking baby for the rest of my life. Some people deserve no compassion. Either way, the bastard is going to die. You think he’s gonna care how compassionately he’s killed? Grow the hell up, you ignorant children.
What about Old Sparky?? No one has mentioned the electric chair in FL that was given that nickname because the chair often lit the prisoners on fire? Google Allen Lee Davis and you’ll find a lot of info on it.
The criminal justice system of the United States of America does not exist to carry out the vicarious whims of your personal revenge fetish, you disgusting pervert. If you want to kill criminals so badly, pick up a hood and a noose and do it yourself. The United States Constitution provides us rights that are supposed to keep our courts from becoming a formalized lynch mob. If you want a lynch mob, do it yourself.
They should end CP and enact a life time hard labor provision for crimes formerly regarded as captital offenses. Seems reasonable enough…if the guy is ultimately proven innocent compensate him for time spent but if he’s guilty he’ll spend a life time contributing to society instead of eating up tax dollars languishing in prison.
Pick up my hood and noose? I’m the pervert, but the rapist/killer is the one you’re fretting and wringing your hands over! I love it! Same old shit from the left. Free Mumia!
BTW/ If I COULD kill this rapist bastard myself, I would. Absolutely and without remorse. Sleep like a fucking baby afterwards. You keep on living in the “grey area” there, friend.
You keep on masturbating to your revenge fantasies, you creep. You probably belong in a jail-cell yourself.