Death row elder needed 2 injections
SAN QUENTIN, California (AP) — In the end, California’s oldest condemned inmate did not seem quite as feeble as his attorneys made him out to be in their efforts to save his life.
With the help of four big prison guards, Clarence Ray Allen shuffled from his wheelchair to a gurney inside San Quentin’s death chamber early Tuesday, a day after his 76th birthday.
Though legally blind, Allen raised his head to search among execution witnesses for relatives he had invited.
“Hoka hey, it’s a good day to die,” Allen said in a nod to his Choctaw Indian heritage. “Thank you very much, I love you all. Goodbye.”
Having suffered a heart attack back in September, Allen had asked prison authorities to let him die if he went into cardiac arrest before his execution, a request prison officials said they would not honor.
“At no point are we not going to value the sanctity of life,” said prison spokesman Vernell Crittendon. “We would resuscitate him,” then execute him.
But the barrel-chested prisoner’s heart was strong to the end: Doctors had to administer a second shot of potassium chloride to stop it.”
This case didn’t get as much press as Tookie Williams did, which is one of the reasons why I felt that some of the people supporting Tookie did not have pure motivations. It is one thing to be against capital punishment and it is quite another to use someone as a political pawn.
If you are not familiar with the case here is a little more information.
“Allen, condemned for ordering behind bars a hit that left three people dead, was the second-oldest inmate executed in the United States since capital punishment resumed nearly 30 years ago, behind only a 77-year-old in Mississippi last month.
His attorneys had pleaded with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the U.S. Supreme Court to spare his life, claiming that executing a man as old and feeble as Allen amounted to cruel and unusual punishment, and that the 23 years he spent on death row were unconstitutionally cruel, too.”
Was it cruel and unusual to have three people murdered. This just irks me. But moving back to the title of the post I do wonder about the sense in resuscitating someone so that they can be executed. That might reasonably be considered cruel and unusual.
I believe in justice but society must have some standards.