Death Preparations Underway For Tookie at San Quentin
Executions are planned, down to the smallest detail. Barring a clemency grant or last-minute stay, Stanley "Tookie" Williams will be executed Monday night (12:01 am Tuesday, Pacific time.)
The LA Times today recaps the major major provisions of San Quentin Operational Procedure No. 770, which is 43 pages in length.
The death chamber will be equipped with 12 rolls of adhesive tape, 20 syringes, 10 needles, 15 tubes of varying sizes, four bags of saline solution, scissors, six tourniquets, two boxes of surgical gloves and one box each of surgical masks and alcohol wipes. There will be handcuffs and leg irons. Nothing is left to chance.
As for Tookie:
On Monday, an escort team will strip-search and shackle the prisoner in his cell. Then "the inmate, wearing only underwear, is escorted to the holding cell, where he is retained pending an unclothed body search, which includes a metal detector scan," says Procedure 770.
The prisoner receives new clothes: undershirt, shorts, socks, blue jeans, blue shirt and canvas slippers. Once clothed and placed back in restraints, the inmate is walked to the elevator and rides down six tiers, to the death-watch cell.
The cell has a bed and mattress, blanket, pillow, heater, radio, television, three sets of state-issued clothes, towels and a chess and checkers set. A lieutenant will tell the inmate that dinner is served at 6 p.m., and introduces the sergeant and two officers who will stand watch throughout Monday evening.
Valium or another relaxant will be available if the inmate requests it and health authorities approve. The condemned inmate is also allowed "reasonable last requests," including special food and a choice of radio or television programs. Some inmates refuse last meals; Williams had not ordered one as of Friday.
As for the execution itself:
Williams will walk to the death chamber once witnesses are in place. The execution team will strap him to a gurney and connect him intravenously to two bags of saline solution. No member of the San Quentin staff may address team members by name or ask them anything that would require an oral response.
After a final time check, Warden Steven Ornoski will order that the flow of saline cease and be replaced with lethal agents: first, the sedative sodium pentothal, then potassium chloride to paralyze Williams and, finally, pancuronium bromide to stop his heart.
The identity of the person who has inserted the poison will not be revealed. The infusion will continue until the prison doctor pronounces Williams dead. The execution chamber will be shut with a curtain. "The body shall be removed with care and dignity and placed in a body bag," says Procedure 770. "The chamber should then be cleaned thoroughly."
This is nothing but state-sanctioned murder. It shows just how unenlightened we are as a nation and a civilization. We should all hang our heads in shame that we allow these killings.
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