For Immediate Release: Mach 15, 2014
For more information: Contact the Save Robert Henry Campaign
Phone: (561) 325-9317
If Henry Has Heart Attack During Execution, FL Supreme Court Says He Wont Feel It?
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – On March 14, the Florida Supreme Court denied Robert Henry’s all of his pending appeals, finding that even if Robert had a heart attack while strapped to a gurney, he wouldn’t feel it. With less than 5 days remaining until the State injects a toxic chemical cocktail into Robert Henry’s veins, the battle now moves to federal court, where Robert’s defense team continues to try and stop the execution, denouncing it as unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.
In denying Robert’s appeal, the Florida Supreme Court relied on the assurances of the State’s expert, Dr. Alan Dershwitz, when finding that Robert was unlikely to feel pain associated with a heart attack. Dr. Dershwitz is the Government’s go-to doctor for death. Dr. Dershwtiz testified that Robert would not feel pain at the time of his execution. Dershwitz gave that same assurance before — in the recently botched Ohio execution of Denis McGuire. In that case, Dershwitz assured Ohioans that its protocol was safe and expedient. After McGuire choked for air and suffocated in a horrendous 15-minute long spectacle, his assurances were called into question. Nonetheless, relying on this same “expert” doctor, the FL Supreme Court stated, even if Robert suffered a heart attack that he “would be unconscious and unable to process the pain.”
Robert’s medical ailments are important: despite the Florida Supreme Court’s reliance on the State’s medical expert’s testimony, Robert’s medical expert, Dr. Joel Zivot, clearly and convincingly made the case that the high dosage of Midazolam will very likely result in an “acute coronary event,” or, a heart attack, characterized by “extremely severe chest pain and shortness of breath” before Robert lost consciousness.
The suppliers of Midazolam have asked the Florida Department of Corrections to STOP its use of this drug for executions, noting the drug is not intended for that purpose.
In addition, two groups of lawyers have also called on Governor Scott to stop Robert’s execution. Citing to inhumane and unconstitutional procedures, NLG, the National Lawyers Guild, and PBACDL, the Palm Beach Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, denounced Florida’s current lethal injection process as cruel and unusual punishment.
Robert 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 addiction issues. Mr. Henry knows well 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 CLOCK IS TICKING! Tell Governor Scott NO CRUEL COCKTAIL in my name! Please call Gov. Scott and tell him you wont stand for state-sanctioned torture, and ask him to STOP Robert’s execution: 850-488-7146, email: Rick.Scott@eog.myflorida.com.
Sign the petition bit.ly/RobertHenry
For more information on Robert’s case, follow his Twitter campaign @SaveRobertHenry, visit him on the web at http://www.nocruelcocktail.wordpress.com, or contact the campaign at NoCruelCocktail@gmail.com or (561) 325-9317.