Friday, October 29, 2004

Tweaking the Protocol (not a cocktail)


More information about the process can be found at:

It’s striking how dismissive some columnists can be when they refer to lethal injection (a punishment for a heinous and brutal murder) as a “cocktail”. Steve Ford’s article on October 10th came dangerously close to crossing a line in terms of dismissing the families and friends of the real victims or little seven year old girls who are raped before their existence on this earth is permanently snuffed out. Do such persons care more for murderers than they do for victims or innocent lives that might still be in danger for as long as the murderer is allowed to live? This reader wonders about that sometimes.

Ford and other advocates for murderers on North Carolina’s death row seem obsessed with the protocol or the combination of drugs that are administered when executions are allowed to proceed. It’s a shame that the time and energy that these persons waste on saving proven murderers from some perceived (or imaginary?) pain isn’t spent on more useful things such as job creation or education. Perkins was in fact violent at times during his incarceration. Was Sammy Perkins or any of the other recently executed predators really worth Ford’s attentions? I guess only God knows now.
More information about Perkins' case can be found at:

Why do the columnists and trial lawyers entertain such notions or state that the procedure “might be” cruel or unusual? Those who are executed certainly aren’t complaining! I’ve not seen Mr. Ford (or trial lawyers or any other persons/organizations that represent murderers) mention anything about what Lashenna "Jo Jo" Moore might have endured in her final moments compared to her murderer (Sammy Perkins) when he laid down on the gurney and “took a nap”. Where’s the fairness there? The terms “cruel or unusual” applies to the crime (murder), not the punishment (execution) and thank goodness the Supreme Court of the United States saw that, as did Governor Easley. Perkins’ execution resulted in justice. For those who take the time to read the constitution, murderers aren’t entitled to a “serene execution”.

Foes of lethal injection (like Ford) object to “the process” no matter how it is administered. One can easily see why such persons only find fault when the warden altered the North Carolina protocol to mirror other states. Obviously these persons never considered that the dosages administered during executions pretty much ensure that the murderer is already dead before the final drugs enter his system. If a lethal dose times ten is given with the new procedure and the old protocol delivered only half of that, the “honoree” at the execution would still be equally dead. I doubt Ford, the trial lawyers or other death penalty foes would consider lying down on the gurney for a “half dose” and not because “it might be painful”, but because the result is the same (a quick death).

Perhaps what upsets death penalty foes most about North Carolina’s execution protocol is not the fact that it mirrors other states today. It’s that they have “less to haggle about in court”, or elsewhere (in the media?) now that it’s not so different. That’s probably why death penalty foes don’t t take the warden for his word and what motivates them to fault the courts, when their point of view is overriden there.
*** Notes ***

Perkins committed at least 13 infractions during his incarceration including : ACTIVE RIOTER, SEXUAL ACT, PROFANE LANGUAGE, DISOBEY ORDER, FIGHTING, VERBAL THREAT, NO THREAT CONTRABAND, and GAMBLING. Obviously keeping such an inmate under close custody or even on death row did not slow Perkins down in terms of harming others or breaking laws.