Stop the Execution of Robert Henry

Stand Up to Torture! Tell Gov. Rick Scott No Cruel Cocktail!

Month: February, 2014

Campaign to Stop Robert Henry’s Execution Scheduled for March 20 Gains Momentum, Followers

For Immediate Release February 27, 2014
For more information Contact the Save Robert Henry Campaign:
Email: NoCruelCocktail@gmail.com
Phone: (561) 325-9317.
Twitter: @SaveRobertHenry
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SaveRobertHenryFL
Petition: bit.ly/RobertHenry
Web: https://nocruelcocktail.wordpress.com/

Campaign to Stop Robert Henry’s Execution Scheduled for March 20 Gains Momentum, Followers

DEERFIELD BEACH, FL – Family and friends on behalf of Robert Henry, who is scheduled to be executed March 20, are calling for a stay of Henry’s execution.  Citing to junk science and cruel protocols, Henry’s campaign is calling Florida’s new protocol on executions “cruel and unusual.”   Henry was sentenced to death in Broward County for the 1988 deaths of Janet Cox Thermidor and Phyllis Harris.  Since Robert has been on death row, he has served as a counselor and mentor to those struggling with the addiction issues.  Mr. Henry knows the horrific toll of untreated addiction – his crack-cocaine addiction led to his condemnation to death, and the death of Ms. Harris and Ms. Thermidor.

The campaign launched its efforts to stop Robert’s execution on February 24, 2014.  Since that date, over 500 people have signed the online petition calling on Governor Scott to stop the execution.

“If Henry’s execution is carried out, he will suffer excruciating pain,” said campaign spokesperson Talitha Hazelton.  “This is state-sanctioned torture.  Injecting a cruel cocktail into Mr. Henry is in violation of the U.S. Constitution and makes a mockery of our democratic system of justice.  We cannot allow sadistic new protocols to trump Floridians’ commitment to decency and humane treatment of our fellow citizens.”

In September of 2013, Florida changed its protocol for lethal injections. Previously, the State utilized barbiturates in step one of its three-step injection process, which put inmates in a coma-like state prior to administering the second, paralyzing drug.  The sources for barbiturates have been running dry, however, because of ethical concerns in the medical profession and unwanted publicity for pharmaceutical companies.  Companies inside the U.S. are refusing to sell to state governments, and most major manufacturers outside the U.S. are forbidden by law to export these drugs for executions in the states.

As a quick fix to the drug shortage, Florida has changed the way it does executions: the lethal cocktail now calls for Midazolam, a drug the FDA has not approved for lethal injections. Midazolam is in a class of drugs normally used to treat anxiety, such as Xanax.  It is not a substitute for anesthesia and is inadequate to produce the deep, coma-like unconsciousness required before the administration of the second, paralyzing drug which shuts down the body’s functions.  In fact, no studies exist at all to show the effects of Florida’s megadose of this drug.  As a result, lead anesthesiologists report that Midazolam’s shoddy sedative properties can result in “a sensation akin to being buried alive” for the person being executed.

Tell Governor Scott to STOP the execution of Robert Henry!  NO CRUEL COCKTAIL in my name! Governor’s office: 850-488-7146, email: Rick.Scott@eog.myflorida.com

For more information on Robert’s case, follow his Twitter campaign @SaveRobertHenry, visit him on the web at: https://nocruelcocktail.wordpress.com/ or contact the campaign at NoCruelCocktail@gmail.com or (561) 325-9317.

###

MOTHER JONES: “New Lethal Injections Could Cause Extreme Pain, Make Deaths ‘Drag On’ for Hours”

Over the past several years, international drugmakers and the European Union have banned the sale of drugs for use in executions. This has made the components of the Supreme Court-approvedthree-drug cocktail that states traditionally used to kill inmates—composed of a sedative that left the inmate unable to feel pain, a second drug that works as a paralytic agent, and a third drug that stops his heart—progressively harder to obtain. To overcome this hurdle, Ohio will try to kill an inmate with a never-before-used combinations of drugs, and Missouri will become the third state to execute an inmate using drugs from an unregulated pharmacy. But as Missouri and Ohio’s unprecedented executions approach, medical and legal experts say that they are hard put to predict how much pain these new drug protocols will inflict on death row inmates, or how long convicts may linger before the drugs finally kill them.

“We don’t know how these drugs are going to react because they’ve never been used to kill someone,” says Deborah Denno, a Fordham University law professor and an expert on lethal injections. “It’s like when you wonder what you’re going to be eating tonight and you go home and root through your refrigerator to see what’s there. That’s what these departments of corrections are doing with these drugs.”

In Ohio, where new rules call for executioners to kill inmates with an overdose of the painkiller hydromorphone, experts worry that some of hydromorphone’s excruciating side effects may kick in before Phillips dies. Jonathan Groner, a professor of clinical surgery at the Ohio State University College of Medicine who has written extensively on the death penalty, says effects of a hydromorphone overdose include an extreme burning sensation, seizures, hallucination, panic attacks, vomiting, and muscle pain or spasms. Waisel, who has testified extensively on capital-punishment methods, adds that a hydromorphone overdose could result in soft tissue collapse—the same phenomenon that causes sleep apnea patients to jerk awake—that an inmate who had been paralyzed would be unable to clear by jerking or coughing. Instead, he could feel as though he were choking to death.

Because hydromorphone is not designed to kill a person, Groner says, there are no clinical guidelines for how to give a lethal overdose. “You’re basically relying on the toxic side effects to kill people while guessing at what levels that occurs,” he explains.

Many death row inmates are morbidly obese—they leave their cells only one hour a day—or are former drug abusers whose veins have collapsed or are riven with scar tissue. Both factors make setting an IV line extremely difficult, especially when the person doing so is a prison staffer with limited medical training. (Phillips, the Ohio prisoner, testified that during an October checkup, doctors had a hard time locating his veins.) An improperly administered sedative could cause an inmate to remain awake throughout his execution. Denno notes that in 2006, a California judge ruled that there was enough evidence to conclude that 6 of 11 inmates executed since 1978 did not receive enough sedative and died painful deaths. If the hydromorphone IV is set poorly, says Groner, “it would be absorbed under the skin, subcutaneously, very slowly, and that death could be extremely prolonged…It may be painful, and it may take forever.”

Read the whole thing here.

Sign the Petition and help Save Robert Henry

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE OF THE SAVE ROBERT HENRY CAMPAIGN

March 20 Execution Date for Robert Henry:  Bad Science Turns Death by Injection Into Cruel Torture

For Immediate Release February 24, 2014

For more information Contact the Save Robert Henry Campaign at NoCruelCocktail@gmail.com or (561) 325-9317.

Twitter: @SaveRobertHenry                                     

Petition: http://chn.ge/1fLpxSg

DEERFIELD BEACH, FL – Family and friends on behalf of Robert Henry, who is scheduled to be executed March 20, are calling for a stay of Henry’s execution.  Citing to junk science and cruel protocols, Henry’s campaign is calling Florida’s new protocol on executions “cruel and unusual.”   Henry was sentenced to death in Broward County for the 1988 deaths of Janet Cox Thermidor and Phyllis Harris.

“If Henry’s execution is carried out, he will suffer excruciating pain,” said campaign spokesperson Talitha Hazelton.  “This is state-sanctioned torture.  Injecting a cruel cocktail into Mr. Henry is in violation of the U.S. Constitution and makes a mockery of our democratic system of justice.  We cannot allow sadistic new protocols to trump Floridians’ commitment to decency and humane treatment of our fellow citizens.”

In September of 2013, Florida changed its protocol for lethal injections. Previously, the State utilized barbiturates in step one of its three-step injection process, which put inmates in a coma-like state prior to administering the second, paralyzing drug. The sources for barbiturates have been running dry, however, because of ethical concerns in the medical profession and unwanted publicity for pharmaceutical companies.  Companies inside the U.S. are refusing to sell to state governments, and most major manufacturers outside the U.S. are forbidden by law to export these drugs for executions in the states.

As a quick fix to the drug shortage, Florida has changed the way it does executions: the lethal cocktail now calls for Midazolam, a drug the FDA has not approved for lethal injections. Midazolam is in a class of drugs normally used to treat anxiety, such as Xanax.  It is not a substitute for anesthesia and is inadequate to produce the deep, coma-like unconsciousness required before the administration of the second, paralyzing drug which shuts down the body’s functions.  In fact, no studies exist at all to show the effects of Florida’s megadose of this drug.  As a result, lead anesthesiologists report that Midazolam’s shoddy sedative properties can result in “a sensation akin to being buried alive” for the person being executed.

Demand Governor Scott stop the execution of Robert Henry, and tell him NO CRUEL COCKTAIL in my name! Contact Gov. Scott:  850-488-7146 or Rick.Scott@eog.myflorida.com.

For more information on Robert’s case, follow his Twitter campaign @SaveRobertHenry or contact the campaign at NoCruelCocktail@gmail.com or (561) 325-9317.