Today, the State of Georgia plans to kill Andrew DeYoung using its experimental triple-drug cocktail, substituting Nembutal (pentobarbitol) for the no-longer-available sodium thiopental. Georgia has already used the new drug to execute Roy Blankenship in June, with disastrous results. According to an Associated Press reporter who attended the execution, Blankenship lurched, gasped and jerked around on the gurney after the injection, and was making swallowing motions a full three minutes later. He did not become motionless until four minutes had passed and was not declared dead for several minutes more. His eyes never closed.
Georgia is not alone in its rush to find a substitute drug for its lethal cocktail. Texas plans to execute Mark Stroman today using the same suspect combination.
I have an op-ed in today’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution and my good friend, Denny LeBoeuf - a wonderful capital defense attorney and Director of the ACLU’s Capital Punishment Project - has written a striking post about the vile spectacle of states “desperate for dope”.
The Texas Moratorium Network has information on actions you can take to head off Stroman’s execution, while Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty are planning statewide vigils today to protest the execution of Andrew DeYoung.