Arizona Executes Jeffrey Landrigan

A few hours after the Supreme Court overruled a stay of execution for Jeffrey Landrigan, he was executed.

When asked for any last words, he said in a strong voice with a heavy Oklahoma accent: "Well, I'd like to say thank you to my family for being here and all my friends, and Boomer Sooner," a reference to the University of Oklahoma Sooners.

His last meal was well-done steak, fried okra, french fries, ice cream and a Dr Pepper. He spent 20 years on death row. According to records of the AZ Department of Corrections, Landrigan is a "Native Indian."

Landrigan is the second execution in Arizona since 2000. Today there are 131 inmates on Arizona's death row, and 79 defendants charged with capital crimes awaiting trial. Another 10 are either on trial or awaiting sentencing for first degree murder.

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    I've finally figured out why (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Anne on Wed Oct 27, 2010 at 10:31:53 AM EST
    this "last meal" thing bothers me: reporting (and I don't mean you, Jeralyn) on the lovely repast enjoyed by the soon-to-be executed inmate puts a gloss of civility over a decidedly uncivilized act - the legalized killing of another human being.

    I'm sure if it was reported that the inmate couldn't eat or was having panic attacks, there would be those who would be fine with that, given the fear, pain and suffering endured by the victims, but that's not really my point.  I don't so much care how the inmate approaches his own death as much as I think it's bizarre that we think that by offering someone their desired last meal before we kill them that we have preserved our own humanity.

    I guess I just will never get it.

    It (1.00 / 1) (#20)
    by lentinel on Wed Oct 27, 2010 at 06:31:29 PM EST
    doesn't seem as if the s.o.b. is entitled to have a glass of Merlot.
    It seems it's always a Dr. Pepper.

    Yes, it romanticizes it in kind of a (none / 0) (#6)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 27, 2010 at 10:41:35 AM EST
    Dickensian "it is a far far better thing..." way. Maybe it's just me, but it calls to mind Sidney Carton philosophizing as he dons a white napkin.

    British Connection - UK Halts Exports (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by lawdex on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 11:04:11 AM EST
    According to AP (Nov. 29/10), the UK has issued an order requiring exporters to prove that drugs will be used for legitimate medical reasons, NOT, execution.  


    This UK order comes one month too late for Mr. Landrigan.  However, it is some positive news and a small step towards total abolition.

    I don't get it (none / 0) (#1)
    by kdm251 on Wed Oct 27, 2010 at 10:16:44 AM EST
    The death penalty doesn't do anything, it doesn't deter crime, and it certainly doesn't bring the victim back.  And it is incredibly expensive.

    It's just wrong (none / 0) (#3)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 27, 2010 at 10:35:01 AM EST
    Maybe if I had a family member murdered I would go to a dark enough place that seeing someone executed would bring me "closure", but I hope not. That would truly be defeat of my spirit and that of anyone I ever loved.

    I know (none / 0) (#25)
    by Watermark on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 01:13:03 AM EST
    that if I were ever murdered there would be nothing more you could do to spit on my grave than to mete out the death penalty. And I know much of my family feels the same way.

    nah .. right and wrong is relative. (none / 0) (#30)
    by nyrias on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 10:40:57 AM EST
    Most American says it is right. You can believe it is wrong with all your heart. It is not going to change a thing.

    Stopped this man from (none / 0) (#4)
    by me only on Wed Oct 27, 2010 at 10:36:03 AM EST
    killing again.  And in case you think that wasn't an issue, realize he was executed for killing a man, after escaping from being incarcerated for killing someone else.

    Who's gonna... (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Wed Oct 27, 2010 at 10:38:36 AM EST
    stop the state from killing again?  Killing is killing is killing.

    Really? (none / 0) (#9)
    by nyrias on Wed Oct 27, 2010 at 01:24:13 PM EST
    You mean killing nazis is the same as killing an innocent child?

    You mean killing a murderer is the same as killing an law abiding elderly?

    You mean killing a crazy gunmen in the act of a rampage is the same as the gunmen killing his victims?


    nonselfdefense (none / 0) (#24)
    by Watermark on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 01:11:58 AM EST
    Any nonselfdefense killing is, in my opinion, morally equivalent to murder.

    the operatnig phrase is ... (none / 0) (#31)
    by nyrias on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 10:42:12 AM EST
    "in my opinion".

    In MY opinion, killing someone like this is doing a great service to the world.

    Guess which OPINION prevails.


    Life without parole in a place with (none / 0) (#7)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 27, 2010 at 10:44:38 AM EST
    smarter guards would accomplish the same thing.

    not unless you live ... (none / 0) (#11)
    by nyrias on Wed Oct 27, 2010 at 01:25:37 PM EST
    in a world with criminal loving lawyers who would lobby for their early release because of "good behavior" or "they are old".

    what part of (none / 0) (#12)
    by CST on Wed Oct 27, 2010 at 01:31:59 PM EST
    "without parole"

    means early release?


    you are absolutly correct (none / 0) (#14)
    by nyjets on Wed Oct 27, 2010 at 01:39:19 PM EST
    However, what do you do with murders who kill while serveing life without parole. There is no easy answer for these instances.

    I thought (none / 0) (#15)
    by CST on Wed Oct 27, 2010 at 01:44:19 PM EST
    you were ok with killing criminals.

    hmm .. there are (none / 0) (#16)
    by nyrias on Wed Oct 27, 2010 at 01:48:36 PM EST
    GUARDS inside prisons too.

    I (think) I have never posted that (none / 0) (#17)
    by nyjets on Wed Oct 27, 2010 at 01:51:49 PM EST
    I am not a big proponent of the death penality.
    Almost 999 out of 1000 I think life without parole is better than the death penality (with a small number of murders being the exception.) As long as there is real life without parole, I have no problem for the death penality being abolished.

    However, my question remain, if someone is serving life, how do you punish that person if he or she kills again.


    I was refering to comment #9 (none / 0) (#18)
    by CST on Wed Oct 27, 2010 at 02:00:17 PM EST
    If someone kills in prison, than I imagine you put them in a high security environment, and perhaps solitary confinement for some time.

    What do they do today?  I'm pretty sure you don't automatically go to death row.  And most people on death row are not there for killing in prison.


    Your question: (none / 0) (#21)
    by lentinel on Wed Oct 27, 2010 at 06:34:25 PM EST
    ...if someone is serving life, how do you punish that person if he or she kills again?

    Consecutive life sentences.

    They have it all figured out.


    nah .. (none / 0) (#13)
    by nyrias on Wed Oct 27, 2010 at 01:34:03 PM EST
    he can kill again in prison, unless you put him in solitary confinement forever.

    Of course it does. (none / 0) (#8)
    by nyrias on Wed Oct 27, 2010 at 01:20:41 PM EST
    How can a dead person commit more crimes?

    Surely it is expensive because of all the lawyering arguing things like where the drugs come from instead of just whether the guy deserves to die.

    May be we should make it cheaper.


    Cheaper (none / 0) (#26)
    by Watermark on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 01:15:04 AM EST
    Brilliant solution there - just execute more innocent people. You have it all figured out.

    " whether the guy deserves to die."

    No one deserves to die. Problem solved.


    Your logic fails. (none / 0) (#29)
    by nyrias on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 10:38:11 AM EST
    Are you saying this guy is innocent?

    How do spending millions arguing where the drug was manufactured help innocent people? The issue of guilt & innocence is not addressed here at all.

    And are you saying that if we are 100% sure of guilt, you have no problem executing criminals?

    Great, then i propose we will only execute those murderers where guilt is supported by overwhelming physical evidence (like in this case) and if so, get rid of all the hair splitting lawyering like "where is the drug bought?"


    British Involvement (none / 0) (#10)
    by lawdex on Wed Oct 27, 2010 at 01:25:06 PM EST
    Any death is deeply troubling, and this one seems to raise international and ethical issues regarding the process and acquisition of the drug.  

    Britain does not have capital punishment and yet the LA Times has reported that "Arizona officials said they had obtained a supply of the drug from a British company."  

    Surely, the exporting and importing of this drug/chemical from Britain into the US by 'Arizona officials' for specifically carrying-out this lethal act would contravene British and international law, and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  I believe the same question would arise if the drug were already on-shore and held as inventory by the British company if it is acting through a channel.  Perhaps the lawyers of the decedent should have been before the English House of Lords to obtain the desired remedy.

    Ref: LA Times, "His lawyers, in a last-ditch appeal, had raised questions about one of the drugs used in the execution. Since the only U.S. manufacturer of sodium thiopental had suspended production, Arizona officials said they had obtained a supply of the drug from a British company."  By David G. Savage, Tribune Washington Bureau  October 27, 2010|9:21 a.m.

    I don't think so. From wiki: (none / 0) (#19)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Oct 27, 2010 at 05:20:06 PM EST
    Sodium thiopental, better known as Sodium Pentothal (a trademark of Abbott Laboratories), thiopental, thiopentone sodium, or Trapanal (also a trademark), is a rapid-onset short-acting barbiturate general anaesthetic.

    Sodium thiopental is a depressant and is sometimes used during interrogations - not to cause pain (in fact, it may have just the opposite effect), but to weaken the resolve of the subject and make him more compliant to pressure.[3]

    Thiopental is a core medicine in the World Health Organization's "Essential Drugs List", which is a list of minimum medical needs for a basic healthcare system.[4]

    British Involvement (none / 0) (#22)
    by lawdex on Wed Oct 27, 2010 at 08:13:25 PM EST
    I believe there is at least some underlying question.  

    For example, if country 'A' were providing humanitarian assistance by supplying helicopters to country 'B' and county 'B' modified those helicopters surreptitiously or unbeknown by country 'A' by adding lethal weapons or even (lawful) components and the modified helicopters then were used by county 'B' for military purposes against its own county 'B' citizens, such conduct would be possibly at a minimum immoral or at the worst a crime against humanity.  

    What information did the 'Arizona officials' provide the British company?  Were the defense lawyer's properly informed on a timely basis of the sourcing of the drug to a British entity?  Who are the persons described as 'Arizona officials' and what relationship or office did they hold in relation to the decedent?  What is the identity and ownership of the British company?  Were there adequate resources available to carryout the necessary legal research and pleadings?  Is the drug regulated and were the proper protocols followed through importing the drug into the country?  


    Indeed. If you ask enough unanswered and, (none / 0) (#23)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Oct 27, 2010 at 10:56:42 PM EST
    perhaps, unanswerable questions, anyone or anything can be called into question. Rumor and sly innuendo slay all.

    Well done sir, your training and experience as an attorney is abundantly successful.

    Clearly the state of AZ and the country of Great Britain are involved in a dark and insidious cloak and dagger, back room, envelopes stuffed with unmarked bills, stealth operation in order to bring untold riches to GB ($500 of drugs) and and the ultimate in snuff-gasm to the state of AZ. Congrats on a job well done!


    Interesting concept (none / 0) (#27)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 02:07:26 AM EST
    The British manufacturer clearly knew who was purchasing it, and what for. Given that Britain opposes the death penalty, wouldn't that make the company unpopular in Britain. Maybe if the company's name was public, Britons who owned stock in it would sell it. Like people here sell stock when the company does wrong or moves in a politically incorrect direction.

    Keep going, Lawdex, and don't mind the naysayers. They speak only for themselves.


    actually, all killing is murder, period. (none / 0) (#28)
    by cpinva on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 06:19:25 AM EST
    even state sanctioned killing is classified as murder. at that point, we start slicing and dicing, to separate the "justified", from the "unjustified".


    May be we should make it cheaper.

    it used to be. unfortunately, cheaper leads to greater use, which leads to more innocent parties being executed. in fact, in china, it's really, really cheap: a single bullet to the back of the head. they execute lots and lots of people. in an odd coincidence, they also have a burgeoning human "spare parts" industry, fueled by executed prisoners. go figure.

    i guess now we no longer have to "speculate" whether or not the foreign made drug meets the same standards as the US produced, FDA approved version, we should know.

    cheaper does not .. (none / 0) (#32)
    by nyrias on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 10:45:17 AM EST
    necessarily lead to greater use, not in THIS country.

    Right now, a lot of the costs is tied up with excessive lawyering on issues that has NOTHING to do with guilt. Things like "oh .. drug is bought from Britain, we must spend million of dollars arguing about it on tax payer's dime".

    I am all for making sure the executed party is guilty. If we get rid of all these excessive lawyering, there are plenty left to make sure DNA is tested, and finger prints are properly analyzed, and still save a BUNDLE.


    one person's (none / 0) (#33)
    by CST on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 10:55:53 AM EST
    "excessive lawyering" is another person's "due process".

    If you don't care how people are killed, just that they are killed, we might as well just go with a public stoning.  Rocks are free after all.


    And you have no sense of (none / 0) (#34)
    by nyrias on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 02:31:31 PM EST
    a matter of degree.

    It is the SAME chemical. You can always test it first on a rat and see if it kills it. I wouldn't care if the UK version kill the guy 10 sec slower than a US, certified version. That is not something MILLIONS should be spent on.

    There is a LARGE difference between stoning and injection, and a MINUTE difference between the SAME chemical made by different company.

    And due process to argue about who manufacturer makes the drug? That is excess lawyering hidden behind due process. It is no better than arguing if the platform he lies on is comfortable or not. Where does this end? He will complain about the clothes he die in? Lawyers will go to any length to argue about TRIVIAL things.


    British Involvement (none / 0) (#35)
    by lawdex on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 09:49:31 AM EST
    The Supreme Court 5:4 split is troubling when a human life is involved.  It is interesting that in corporate matters shareholder votes may require a 'super majority' to ratify decisions rather than a simple majority (50% + 1). In jury matters, the requirement is often 'unanimity'.  

    In today's NY Times Editorial "No Justification" amongst other matters regarding the Jeffrey Landrigan execution is the issue of the efficacy of the pharmaceutical drug obtained from the (unidentified) British company.  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/29/opinion/29fri1.html?hpthere