Attorney Calls For Cessation Of Lethal Injection After Use of Animal Tranquilizer Allegedly Lead To Botched Execution

Attorney Brian Kammer has called for the suspension of further lethal injections in Georgia after he said the execution of his client, Roy Blankenship, was botched with the use of an untested animal tranquilizer.

Blankenship was put to death Thursday night for the murder of 78-year-old Sarah Mims Bowen in Savannah 33 years ago.

The media described a gruesome scene: “According to witnesses, Blankenship grimaced, jerked, lunged from side-to-side, gasped and appeared to yell out during the three minutes immediately after the first drug was administered. Witnesses said his eyes remained open until the end, as had been the case with the two previous executions.”

Georgia used a new sedative, pentobarbital, a drug that is untested on humans. Kammer wrote to Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol Hunstein that “DOC has had three problematic executions in a row, indicating serious and systemic problems in how DOC administers judicial lethal injections and that DOC cannot assure a humane, constitutional execution process.”

Blankenship previously challenged the drug regimen to try to stop his execution, including the use of expired drugs.

For a related prior column, click here.

Source: AJC

Jonathan Turley

9 thoughts on “Attorney Calls For Cessation Of Lethal Injection After Use of Animal Tranquilizer Allegedly Lead To Botched Execution”

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  2. “What is the acceptable ratio then?”


    Of course there is no acceptable ratio. In truth, though I’m a non-violent person, I could personally kill anyone who killed someone I love out of malice or lust. The fact is though it wouldn’t happen because I never could be sure, unless it happened in front of me, that the person I could kill would be undeniably guilty

  3. I am opposed to the death penalty in most cases, but the unfortunate fact is that the majority of those who are executed really deserved it. They are scum whose death will actually enhance society. The unfortunate fact too is that especially here in Texas, we have too many innocents being executed. So the question that we should put to those who are for the death penalty, is How many innocent people should be executed to kill off some really bad people? No system of justice is perfect, and in Texas it is a farce. So we are faced with the FACT that some innocents will be wrongly convicted and murdered by the state. What is the acceptable ratio then?

  4. I wonder what someone who is for the death penalty would say if they had to watch an execution like this one. Only without being told what crime they are being executed for.

  5. If I had a choice I’d take the guillotine, but if I really had a choice I’d end capital punishment. Doesn’t work as a deterrent. Precludes the possibility of re-mediating a mistake. Is cruel and unusual punishment. LWOP is a far more apt means of obtaining justice for the victim.

  6. For heaven’s sake, N = 3 doth not good statistics make. Georgia has had thousands of executions without problems. If they had any respect for mathematics and the scientific method, and the dignity of man that accrues from each, they would need to perform several hundred more executions to come to a proper conclusion.

  7. Frank,

    Given a choice between lethal injection and the guillotine or firing squad, I’d steer well clear of the randomness that is lethal injection. A little trauma followed by blackness 15 second later sounds way better than 3 minutes of agony.

  8. Look, a lot of the pro-death crowd really want the blood sport for the visceral vengeance factor. Why not bring back the guillotine & make them happy.

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