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Bondi asks U.S. Supreme Court to re-order execution

by Dara Kam | July 26th, 2011

Attorney General Pam Bondi has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to override the Florida Supreme Court’s stay on the execution of convicted cop killer Manuel Valle.

Valle’s death warrant, the first and only signed by Gov. Rick Scott since taking office in January, set his execution by lethal injection for Aug. 2. But the Florida Supreme Court yesterday put the execution off for a month until a hearing on a controversial new drug is held.

In a 4-3 ruling, the divided Florida high court ordered a Miami judge to hold a hearing on the new drug, pentobarbital sodium, an anesthetic Department of Corrections officials decided in June to replace sodium thiopental. Sodium thiopental’s manufacturer stopped making the drug early this year, leaving corrections officials in states like Florida scrambling to find a substitute.

But Lundbeck Inc., the Danish manufacturer of pentobarbital, recently announced that the drug is untested and unsafe for use in lethal injections. Lundbeck stopped selling the drug to distributors who intended to resell it for use in executions.

In her 12-page filing Tuesday, Bondi argued that the Florida justices “improperly granted the stay” because Valle’s lawyers failed to demonstrate that he would be subjected to a “substantial risk of harm,” the standard set by the U.S. Supreme Court in determining cruel or unusual punishment in a case called Baze v. Rees, known as “Baze.”

“In Baze, a plurality of this Court held that an inmate was required to show that the protocol created a ‘substantial risk of serious harm’ that was ‘objectively intolerable’ to demonstrate that a lethal injection protocol was unconstitutional,’” Bondi’s motion said. “It noted that the mere fact that an execution method ‘may result in pain, either by accident or as an inescapable consequence of death’ did not meet this standard.”

Bondi also disputed the testimony of Valle’s expert witness, pediatric anesthesiologist David Waisel. A lower court had rejected Waisel’s testimony but the state Supreme Court ordered that it be taken into consideration in the hearing on the new drug. Part of Waisel’s testimony included a description of what may have been a botched execution in Georgia using pentobarbital, also known as Nembutal.

“Since the claim has already been rejected in Georgia and Florida’s protocol contains similar provisions for a consciousness
check and not continuing the protocol until an inmate is unconscious (as noted in Justice Cannady’s dissent in the Florida
Supreme Court), the Florida Supreme Court erred in finding that this assertion was sufficient to grant a stay. The stay should be vacated,” Bondi wrote.

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3 Responses to “Bondi asks U.S. Supreme Court to re-order execution”

  1. Chuck Says:

    Mmmm Scott and Biondi hungry for First Blood.
    It never fails to amaze me how “Christian” politicians are so ready to flip the switch, insert the needle, etc.
    Anyone whose Messiah was killed by capital punishment, and whose religion states ‘thou shall not kill’ might want to pause and contemplate the hypocrisy of their position.
    The same people who say they don’t trust big government are the same ones that think government should be trusted with the power of the ultimate sentence.

  2. LaPondongo Says:

    There is no “hypocrisy” in carrying out a death sentence. Christains rely on ALL of the Bible. Jesus said in Matthew 5:18
    “I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”

    The ten commandments are found in the Bible at Exodus 20. The very next chapter,Exodus 21, says starting at verse 12 “Anyone who strikes a person with a fatal blow is to be put to death. 13 However, if it is not done intentionally, but God lets it happen, they are to flee to a place I will designate. 14 But if anyone schemes and kills someone deliberately, that person is to be taken from my altar and put to death.” Intentionally taking a life is punishable by death according to the Bible. Its “punishment” not hypocrisy.

  3. Carol Says:

    Defination of a Pro-lifer: people who don’t mind killing people, as long as they get to choose. These are the same folks who “love the sinner” but “hate the sin” (as long as it’s not one that they practice).

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