Monday, September 21, 2009

Welcome Back! 2009-2010

On behalf of the board of the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights I would like to welcome our new members! We had a wonderful showing of students interested in joining the staff and are pleased with the quality of our new staffers. This year should be the best one yet! Stay tuned for details on what we're working on.

And now, let's get down to it:
As you might have heard, last week Ohio prison workers had some unexpected trouble giving Romell Broom the lethal injection. Broom reportedly winced and cried while flexing, tugging on the tourniquet, turning from side to side, and doing everything in his power to help the prison workers find a vein strong enough to take the lethal injections. After 2 hours and 23 minutes of poking, prodding, and even inserting a shunt into Broom's leg, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland finally called the execution off...and rescheduled it.

This has raised some serious Constitutional concerns: Mr Broom's lawyer has filed lawsuits alleging that Broom's civil rights would be violated by another execution attempt, and others are debating the legal question of whether subjecting Broom to a second execution amounts to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the 8th Amendment.

But apparently this isn't the first time Ohio has had this problem. The ACLU reports that this is the 3rd time in 3 years.

Supposedly lethal injection is the "most humane" or at very least "most accepted" method of execution - but should that be reassessed? Just the first attempt - 2 hours and 23 minutes of being stuck with needles sounds like torture to me. But if the 2nd attempt were successful would it simply negate the 1st? At what point would his civil rights be violated - and do you take his crimes into consideration?

What do you think?


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