OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE OF THE SAVE ROBERT HENRY CAMPAIGN
by Save Robert Henry
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.
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.
For more information on Robert’s case, follow his Twitter campaign @SaveRobertHenry or contact the campaign at NoCruelCocktail@gmail.com or (561) 325-9317.