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Midnight execution looms for killer, 76

 
 
djjd62
 
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2006 06:52 pm
Midnight execution looms for killer, 76
Last appeal rejected for California's oldest death row inmate


Monday, January 16, 2006; Posted: 7:39 p.m. EST (00:39 GMT)


SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal Monday from a 76-year-old convicted killer who argued that he was too old and feeble to be executed.

The ruling cleared the way for Clarence Ray Allen -- legally blind, nearly deaf and in a wheelchair -- to be executed by injection early Tuesday for a triple murder he ordered from behind bars to silence witnesses to another killing.

Allen, whose birthday was Monday, stood to become the oldest person executed in California -- and the second-oldest put to death nationally -- since the Supreme Court allowed capital punishment to resume in 1976. (Watch strategy to block execution -- 2:00)

He raised two claims never before endorsed by the high court: that executing a frail old man would violate the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment, and that the 23 years he spent on death row were unconstitutionally cruel as well.

The high court rejected all three of his requests for a stay of execution, about 10 hours before he was to be put to death.

On one of those orders, Justice Stephen Breyer filed a dissent, saying: "Petitioner is 76 years old, blind, suffers from diabetes and is confined to a wheelchair, and has been on death row for 23 years. I believe that in the circumstances he raises a significant question as to whether his execution would constitute cruel and unusual punishment. I would grant the application for stay."

The Supreme Court has never set an upper age limit for executions or created an exception for physical infirmity.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the California Supreme Court and a federal appeals court previously refused to spare Allen's life.

Allen went to prison for having his teenage son's 17-year-old girlfriend murdered for fear she would tell police about a grocery-store burglary. While behind bars, he tried to have witnesses in the case wiped out, prosecutors said. He was sentenced to death in 1982 for hiring a hit man who killed a witness and two bystanders.

Allen's heart stopped in September, but doctors revived him and returned him to San Quentin Prison's death row.

Before Allen, the oldest person executed in California since the reinstatement of the death penalty was a 62-year-old man put to death last January. He had spent 21 years on death row.

Last month in Mississippi, John B. Nixon, 77, became the oldest person executed in the United States since capital punishment resumed. He did not pursue an appeal based on his age.

Over the years, some justices on the Supreme Court have expressed interest in deciding whether a long stay on death row can be unconstitutionally cruel.

In 2002, Breyer said in the case of a Florida inmate who spent 27 years in prison: "It is fairly asked whether such punishment is both unusual and cruel."

Justice Clarence Thomas disagreed, writing that the inmate "could long ago have ended his anxieties and uncertainties by submitting to what the people of Florida have deemed him to deserve: execution."
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 1,205 • Replies: 16
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Louise R Heller
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2006 06:55 pm
Quote:

The Supreme Court has never set an upper age limit for executions or created an exception for physical infirmity.


That's a lie.

The Supreme Court has declared that the retarded - yes that's a physical (brain) infirmity - cannot be executed.
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Anon-Voter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2006 06:57 pm
ok
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Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2006 07:13 pm
I'm quite puzzled by the ....heart stopped and they revived him statement. He was dead and they revived him? Shocked So they could kill him? I have really got to do some thinking about this.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2006 07:15 pm
Momma Angel wrote:
I'm quite puzzled by the ....heart stopped and they revived him statement. He was dead and they revived him? Shocked So they could kill him? I have really got to do some thinking about this.


i can imagine the warden saying, nobody dies on my watch, unless i say so Very Happy
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Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2006 07:16 pm
Yeah, I think this does constitute as cruel and unusual punishment. I still can't comprehend this.
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djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2006 07:16 pm
Louise_R_Heller wrote:
The Supreme Court has declared that the retarded - yes that's a physical (brain) infirmity - cannot be executed.


anybody informed texas, they've come pretty damn close as i recall
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Louise R Heller
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2006 08:49 pm
I don't know the answer about Texas, DJJD, but if stuffing the paranoid with medication to make them sane enough to be executed (executing the retarded and the insane being illegal) then the whole thing is a horror story Smile
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Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2006 08:58 pm
The death penalty is something I have always had conflicting feelings about. I can certainly see it in some cases, i.e. Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, etc. I guess my biggest problem with it is once the sentence is handed down years and years will pass before the sentence is actually carried out, unless the convicted waives all appeals, etc., and convinces a judge to go ahead and administer the punishment.

When Carla Fay Tucker was finally put to death there was strong indication that she had really turned her life around and could have become a productive member of society. In my mind, it's hard to imagine putting someone to death for something they did 20 years ago and then rehabilitated as much as she seemed to.

I believe the death penalty is needed is many cases. But this thing of reviving the guy when he was dead so he could be put to death by the state is absolutely too out there. Why didn't they just let him stay dead? Why bring him back to just wait to die? He may have been a murderer but he was still a human being. I can only imagine how often he thought I wish they just would have let me die.
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Questioner
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2006 09:00 pm
djjd62 wrote:
Louise_R_Heller wrote:
The Supreme Court has declared that the retarded - yes that's a physical (brain) infirmity - cannot be executed.


anybody informed texas, they've come pretty damn close as i recall


We just elect them to public office here.
0 Replies
 
Questioner
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2006 09:03 pm
Momma Angel wrote:
The death penalty is something I have always had conflicting feelings about. I can certainly see it in some cases, i.e. Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, etc. I guess my biggest problem with it is once the sentence is handed down years and years will pass before the sentence is actually carried out, unless the convicted waives all appeals, etc., and convinces a judge to go ahead and administer the punishment.

When Carla Fay Tucker was finally put to death there was strong indication that she had really turned her life around and could have become a productive member of society. In my mind, it's hard to imagine putting someone to death for something they did 20 years ago and then rehabilitated as much as she seemed to.

I believe the death penalty is needed is many cases. But this thing of reviving the guy when he was dead so he could be put to death by the state is absolutely too out there. Why didn't they just let him stay dead? Why bring him back to just wait to die? He may have been a murderer but he was still a human being. I can only imagine how often he thought I wish they just would have let me die.


There are 3 things about Capital Punishment that I disagree with.

1) The fact that it's too easy to make a mistake.

2) If #1 weren't an issue, the punishment should be carried out immediately, not 20 years later.

3) The fact that mass murderers and serial killers can write a children's book and then be lauded as heroes and saints while waiting to be executed. (Really just an extension of #2, but whatever)
0 Replies
 
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2006 09:07 pm
Amen to that, Questioner.
0 Replies
 
Intrepid
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2006 09:10 pm
You are right on the mark, Questioner
0 Replies
 
Anon-Voter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2006 09:11 pm
If I was this guy, I'd be begging them to hurry up and get it over with! It can't be bothering him too much, you should hear what the guy had for his last meal.

Anon
0 Replies
 
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2006 09:13 pm
What would his last meal have to do with it not bothering him too much?
0 Replies
 
Anon-Voter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2006 09:16 pm
Stand up Momma!

Anon
0 Replies
 
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2006 09:17 pm
Stand up? What does that mean?
0 Replies
 
 

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