UPDATED: ACLU: When Facing Death, Lizards Are Treated More Humanely Than Humans

cleve foster.jpg
Does Cleve Foster deserve a death at least as humane as that of a lizard? The ACLU thinks so.
UPDATED: This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to stop Cleve Foster's execution scheduled for tonight, reported The Chronicle. It would have been the first execution in Texas by way of pentobarbital.

The pets of those on death row would be treated more humanely than their owners, if the animals were sitting in the execution chamber instead of them.

According to a report released by the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Texas, and the Center for International Human Rights at Northwestern University School of Law, euthanasia of animals is more tightly regulated than that of inmates facing the death sentence.

The report comes amid controversy about the drug pentobarbital, which is the substitute for sodium thiopental -- the classic chemical in the three-ingredient execution cocktail. Facing a shortage of the drug, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) named pentobarbital as its replacement. Less than three weeks after the announcement, it's being used tonight to kill death-row inmate Cleve Foster, 47, who sexually assaulted and murdered a 28-year-old woman.

Animal euthanasia is strictly controlled here in Texas, where the drugs must be tested, technicians must be certified, and dosages must be prescribed. There is no similar law requiring training for those who administer the death drug to humans, dosage-to-weight guidelines, or stringent tests on the efficacy and humanity of the drug, according to the report.

"The failure of this drug in its intended use would cause everyone's worst surgical nightmare: total paralysis and excruciating pain," said Lisa Graybill, Legal Director of the ACLU of Texas, in a press release. "Expert assessment and governmental transparency should be minimum requirements before this new drug protocol is used."

The report cites a study which tested the bodies of autopsied inmates that had been lethally injected. It found that 43 percent showed signs of being conscious at the time of death. And for a first run with pentobarbital, there's no real evidence whether its combination with the other two lethal injection drugs -- pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride -- will produce the painless effect that a conscious body desires.

Lawyers for Foster are also red-flagging the manner in which Texas obtained the drug, reported the Austin American-Statesman. They discovered that TDCJ has been buying lethal injection drugs under the registration number of a defunct hospital in Huntsville, one that hasn't existed since 1983. If TDCJ is found guilty of the violation, the DEA could force them to surrender the lethal injection drugs.

If that doesn't work, the ACLU is asking the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and Governor Rick Perry to hold off on executing anyone with the new drug until they can treat inmates at least as humanely as fish.


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11 comments
Methamphetamine-Abuse
Methamphetamine-Abuse

Local health and law enforcement officials have launched a campaign to make it easier for people to dispose of prescription medications in order to curb the alarming rate of accidents and deaths caused by them. Steel drop boxes are being placed at police stations so that people can ... Just last month a twelve year old girl died after her mother gave her part of her methadone dose for an injured knee. Consider using these new drop boxes to dispose of old or unused ...

Miguel Gonzalez
Miguel Gonzalez

"And for a first run with pentobarbital, there's no real evidence whether its combination with the other two lethal injection drugs -- pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride -- will produce the painless effect that a conscious body desires."

I guess we will be finding out later tonite, won't we?

Give Me A Freaking Break
Give Me A Freaking Break

I see SCOTUS gave this savage a reprieve. Unbelievable. Just delaying his inevitable date with the needle.

Give Me A Freaking Break
Give Me A Freaking Break

How was Mary Pal treated? Oh yeah, she was brutally gang raped, shot and then thrown in a ditch. It wasn't the first time these animals committed murder either.

Yet the bleeding hearts at the aclu don't want him to feel any pain as he receives his ultimate punishment? They need to STFU for once.

http://www.star-telegram.com/2...

Adios, Mofo
Adios, Mofo

Normally you just flush a lizard down the toilet.Are you suggesting that the State of Texas needs to build a giant toilet?

I got your break right here.
I got your break right here.

I see you're taking this much too personally. You should really just relax, and learn to mind your own business.

H_e_x
H_e_x

An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.

Give Me A Freaking Break
Give Me A Freaking Break

How would executing this piece of trash for his atrocious crimes leave me or you "blind"? Think before you type.

Give Me A Freaking Break
Give Me A Freaking Break

Sure we can. There are consequences to killers' actions. There will be justice.

Good job avoiding my question, by the way

H_e_x
H_e_x

As a modern nation, we can't just kill people with whatever we have. Why don't we have a pack of raving donkeys rape him to death? Or simply draw and quarter him?

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