Ohio Executes Inmate With Dementia and No Memory of Crime
Ohio today executed Daniel Bedford with pentobarbital, a drug used to euthanize animals, that may or may not be effective in blocking pain.
Bedford's attorneys say because of dementia and mental disability, he has no memory of the crime and may not understand he is being put to death.
There apparently were problems finding a vein, requiring him to be "stuck" several times. [More...]
Prison staff had appeared to have some difficulty inserting the IVs into one arm, prompting an attorney witnessing the execution to leave the witness room to call a colleague with concerns about how many times Bedford's arm had been poked. She also shouted to Bedford through the glass viewing window and asked if there were problems. He replied that he'd been poked several times.
Bedford did have family present.
Bedford, in glasses and a short gray beard, declined to give a formal final statement but yelled "I love you" to his adult daughter, Michelle Connor, who was in the witness room and shouted back, "I love you, Daddy" after he had climbed onto a gurney. He also called out to witness Kristi Schulenberg, a friend and pen pal with whom he had kept in touch since the mid-1990s. She said she loved him, too.
Prison authorities claim Bedford knew he was going to die.
Bedford told mental health staff early Tuesday morning that he understood he would die and was preparing himself, a state prisons spokesman said.
The Supreme Court refused a stay earlier today.
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