Federal Judge Visits San Quentin's Death Row

Via the San Francisco Chronicle:

U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel spent more than 3 1/2 hours at the prison, accompanied by lawyers for the state and for Michael Morales, the condemned murderer from Stockton whose execution was halted by Fogel last month because of questions about the state's lethal-injection methods....the judge asked numerous questions about how the drugs were administered but gave no indication of his views or any areas of concern.

At one point, Fogel entered the small execution chamber, where prisoners were killed by gas before the state switched to lethal injections in 1996. The judge also examined the small, dimly lit room where the deadly chemicals are put into syringes, then injected into tubes that lead into the chamber, where medical technicians have inserted them into veins in inmates' arms.

Hearings on whether the drug cocktail being used to kill the inmates may leave them conscious begin in federal court on May 2.

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    Re: Federal Judge Visits San Quentin's Death Row (none / 0) (#1)
    by eric on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 10:12:22 AM EST
    Barbaric. It's disgusting to even have to read about a judge touring a "execution chamber".

    Re: Federal Judge Visits San Quentin's Death Row (none / 0) (#2)
    by HK on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 10:36:17 AM EST
    I have been researching this subject for an article and although there are serious questions about the equipment used, the main problem is with the procedure. If Judge Fogel wants to get to the heart of this issue, it would have helped if he had been present at one of the many executions via this method that have been botched. Stephen McCoy in TX in 1989 had such a violent (invountary) reaction that one of the male witnesses fainted. Justin Lee May had a similar reaction in TX in 1992. The execution of Robyn Lee Parks (OK, 1992) was described as 'scary and ugly' by a reporter. This list is far from exhaustive. I commend Judge Fogel for wanting to address this issue and his visit to San Quentin is a good start. However, if he wants to know of the true horrors of the practice of lethal injections, he is not going to find out simply by viewing an inactive execution chamber.

    Re: Federal Judge Visits San Quentin's Death Row (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 10:53:03 AM EST
    The Governor was strong upon The Regulations Act: The Doctor said that Death was but A scientific fact: And twice a day the Chaplain called And left a little tract. ~ For Man's grim Justice goes its way, And will not swerve aside: It slays the weak, it slays the strong, It has a deadly stride: With iron heel it slays the strong, The monstrous parricide! ~ They hanged him as a beast is hanged: They did not even toll A reguiem that might have brought Rest to his startled soul, But hurriedly they took him out, And hid him in a hole ~ The Chaplain would not kneel to pray By his dishonored grave: Nor mark it with that blessed Cross That Christ for sinners gave, Because the man was one of those Whom Christ came down to save. ---------------------------------------- Selected verse. The Ballad of Reading Goal. Oscar Wilde. Full poem here. http://emotionalliteracyeducation.com/classic_books_online/rgaol10.htm