New Orleans media outlets are consumed with coverage of former Mayor Ray Nagin’s corruption trial. While Nagin’s trial provides nearly as much entertainment as the oxymoronic “Top Chef New Orleans season finale, live from Maui” there is another court case that is far more important-the attempt to free child-killer Christopher Sepulvado from his well deserved date with a cocktail of lethal injection.
Yesterday, lawyers from the state attended a hearing in a federal judge’s chambers to make their case that another appeal from Sepulvado was unwarranted but this time the anti death-penalty crowd had a new angle: the drugs used to carry out the execution allegedly cause “suffering” as in the recent execution of murderer Dennis McGuire in Ohio. There’s just 1 problem with that argument: it’s a hoax.(1)
The Associated Press reported that McGuire’s family and spiritual adviser: Father Lawrence Hummer, witnessed McGuire’s “spasms” and “convulsions”. Hummer, a death penalty opponent told the Guardian UK that McGuire’s death was “…ghastly…There is no question in my mind that Dennis McGuire suffered greatly over many minutes.”(2) This has been seized upon as evidence that the new lethal injection concoction “doesn’t work” thus leading to Sepulvado’s latest appeal. There’s a problem with that conclusion, the medical profession says that cannot be.(3)
Sepulvado’s appeal is to overturn Louisiana’s use of injection by claiming it is “unconstitutional”, The Supreme Court has already performed this injury to Louisiana law back in 2005, preventing the execution of Patrick O’Neal Kennedy for brutally raping his 8 year old stepdaughter. The irony of all this stems from the fact that none of these cases belong in any federal court room. Louisiana, as a sovereign state, is qualified to host a TV cooking-show finale, prosecute corrupt hucksters masquerading as mayors and execute our own laws.