A pharmaceutical company which has taken steps to prevent its product from being used in executions by lethal injection will today receive an award recognising its ethical leadership in the industry.
Fresenius Kabi announced last September that it had put in place controls designed to ensure that its propofol product would not be sold or distributed to correctional facilities where it could be used to carry out the death penalty. Fresenius Kabi, which at the time was the sole US supplier of the anesthesia drug, acted after US states started considering the use of propofol as supplies of previously-used execution drugs became scarce.
John Ducker, the CEO of Fresenius Kabi USA, will today receive the Corporate Social Responsibility Award for Ethical Leadership in the Pharmaceutical Industry on behalf of the company. The award is presented by human rights charity Reprieve.
Mr Ducker said: “Everything we do at Fresenius Kabi is to help assure the safety and availability of therapies for patients and those who care for them,” Mr. Ducker said. “We are pleased to accept this award on behalf of our employees and customers.”
Maya Foa, Deputy Director of Reprieve’s Death Penalty Team said: “Fresenius Kabi has shown unwavering commitment to the core values of the Hippocratic Oath, taking unprecedented steps to ensure their products are used to advance the health and wellbeing of patients all over the world, and are not put to ill use. In so doing, they have shown themselves to be a true leader in ethical business.”
June 20, 2013 http://www.startribune.com
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber can delay the lethal injection of a death-row inmate who wants to waive his appeals and speed his execution, the state’s highest court ruled Thursday.
The Oregon Supreme Court said Kitzhaber did not overstep his power when he granted a reprieve delaying the death sentence of Gary Haugen, who was convicted of two murders.
Kitzhaber opposes the death penalty and intervened weeks before Haugen was scheduled to be executed in 2011. The governor said he refused to allow an execution under a state death-penalty system he views as broken, vowing to block any execution during his term in office.
Haugen challenged Kitzhaber’s clemency, saying the reprieve was invalid because Haugen refused to accept it. He also argued that it wasn’t actually a reprieve but rather an illegal attempt by the governor to nullify a law he didn’t like.
The governor argued that his clemency power is absolute, and nobody — certainly not an inmate on death row — can prevent him from doing what he believes to be in the state’s best interest.
Kitzhaber has urged a statewide vote on abolishing the death penalty, although the Legislature has shown little interest in putting it on the ballot in 2014. He renewed his request after the ruling Thursday, saying capital punishment “has devolved into an unworkable system that fails to meet the basic standards of justice.”
“I am still convinced that we can find a better solution that holds offenders accountable and keeps society safe, supports the victims of crime and their families and reflects Oregon values,” Kitzhaber said in a statement.
The case involved a sparsely explored area of law — how much power the governor has to reduce, delay or eliminate criminal sentences. The justices had very little precedent to guide their decision, and neither lawyer could point to any other case where an inmate challenged an unconditional reprieve that spared him from the death penalty.
Haugen was sentenced to death along with an accomplice in 2007 for the jailhouse murder of a fellow inmate. At the time, Haugen was serving a life sentence for fatally beating his former girlfriend’s mother in 1981.
Americans and their elected representatives have expressed mixed feelings about the death penalty. Lawmakers abolished capital punishment in New Mexico, New Jersey and Connecticut, but Californians turned down a chance to follow suit at the ballot box last year.
In 2000, then-Gov. George Ryan of Illinois issued a moratorium on the death penalty after numerous condemned inmates were exonerated. The Legislature abolished capital punishment more than a decade later.
June 10 2013, Los Angeles Times
Jurors decided Monday that a gang member should be executed for the slaying of four people, including a 10-year-old boy gunned down from close range as he rode his bicycle along a quiet South Los Angeles street.
Charles Ray Smith, 44, stared straight ahead and showed no emotion as the verdict was read in a downtown courtroom.
Smith was convicted during a previous trial of taking part in two deadly shootings in 2006, including one that became known as the “49th Street Massacre” in which two men wielding AK-47s opened fire on children and adults enjoying a Friday summer afternoon.
Sergio Marcial Sr., whose son and brother were among those killed, said the trials in the case had taken an emotional toll on him and his family. He said one of the most painful moments during the legal proceedings was seeing an autopsy photograph of his slain son.
His oldest son, who was 12 at the time, was seriously wounded in the attack and had to repeatedly recount his ordeal in court.
“I’m glad that we can move on and not worry about going and hearing how my son got killed — and my brother and my neighbor,” Marcial said. “I’m glad that it’s over.”
Defense attorney James Cooper said he and his colleague, James Bisnow, knew the case would be difficult given the age of the victims and the fact that none had any gang ties. Bisnow noted that his client has gone through four trials, including one in which a jury deadlocked on whether Smith was guilty and two more that could not decide if he should be executed or spend the rest of his life in prison.
“It was an unprecedented fourth trial, which is extremely costly to the taxpayer and was unjustified in view of the mitigating evidence,” Bisnow said.
The brutality of the 49th Street killings shocked a city long used to gang violence. The shooting was one of several high-profile gang crimes that stoked fears among some of a possible race war. Witnesses described the gunmen as black; the victims were Latino.
But prosecutors have argued that race had little to do with the killings and that Smith and another man, Ryan T. Moore, mistook the victims for rival gang members in a tit-for-tat feud over turf, drugs and pride. Moore was convicted during a separate trial and sentenced to death.
Smith’s attorneys urged the jury last week to spare their client, arguing that there was a lingering doubt that he was involved in the killings. They said jurors should also consider a variety of disorders from which Smith suffers, including post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by his upbringing. They said his afflictions warped Smith’s view of the world, impaired his logic and made him react impulsively.
Smith, they said, was raised by parents who were heavy drinkers when he was a child and who were addicted to crack cocaine when he was a teenager. All four of his brothers ended up in jail or prison, the attorneys told jurors during closing arguments.
The lawyers also noted that many of Smith’s relatives testified that he was a loving father who encouraged his children to do well in school.
But Los Angeles County Deputy Dist. Atty. Amy Ashvanian described Smith in court as a gang shot-caller who showed no remorse for his crimes. She said Smith told an associate after the 49th Street shooting: “If they’re old enough to shoot, they’re old enough to get shot.”
Smith’s killings, Ashvanian said, began in March 2006 after an incident in which a rival gang member in a green sedan shot at one of Smith’s friends. In response, Smith used an AK-47 to shoot Bani Hinojosa, 27, in the back. Hinojosa, a construction worker who had been sitting in his green sedan, was bringing milk home to his wife and daughters. He had no gang ties and had nothing to do with the earlier shooting involving Smith’s friend.
The victims of the 49th Street shooting on June 30, 2006, were David Marcial, 10; his uncle, Larry Marcial, 22; and Luis Cervantes, a 17-year-old neighbor. David’s brother, Sergio Marcial Jr., was seriously wounded. He and David had been riding their bicycles on the sidewalk outside their home.
Maribel Marcial, David’s aunt and Larry’s sister, said she and her family would have accepted a verdict of life in prison for Smith but were gratified by the jury’s decision.
“It is the beginning of healing for all my family,” she said after the verdict. “We’re all going to die. But in this matter, he’s going to pay for what he did. He’s going to know the reason that he is dying.”
Imagine being locked in a cage alone for 22 ½ hours a day, sometimes for decades on end, with no normal human contact ever and no exposure to direct sunlight ever. Now imagine that during this terrible experience you were subjected to being shot with an assault rifle and dumped in a cell covered with fecal matter until you had an aneurysm – or held down in a scalding hot bath until you received third degree burns all over your body. This isn’t Guantanamo Bay or Abu Ghraib … it’s California.
The state of California calls them Security Housing Units (SHUs), and over 3,000 prisoners are warehoused in facilities like this1 (up to 80,000 in the U.S. total2). The majority of these prisons have no windows, computers or telephone calls. Showers are typically once a week, mail is withheld regularly, meals are pushed through a slot in the front of their cell, and there is no work or rehabilitation of any kind provided.
A major reason this type of inhumane treatment continues to exist is the common misconception that the average citizen has about who is being housed in these facilities. This is most likely because of the government’s propaganda campaign that consists of claims that these solitary confinement units are only for the “worst of the worst.”
The truth of the matter is that there are many prisoners with no record of violence in the outside world in these facilities and that these same solitary confinement techniques are being used on adolescents in juvenile facilities as well. Pelican Bay State Prison’s Security Housing Unit in Crescent City, California, is widely considered by prisoners as the worst facility for solitary confinement in the state, and experts have called it the worst prison in the United States.
Over a thousand prisoners are warehoused in the SHU at Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) and are never given access to direct sunlight, let alone the right to go outside. The rare occasions that they get visitors – as the prison’s location is extremely isolated as well – it is limited to an hour and a half and there is a glass screen separating them.
In fact, prisoners are not only separated from the outside world but within the prison itself, as barriers are put in place for medical visits and to protect all other correctional staff. This kind of isolation that consists of always being inside under artificial light and being alone in a small cage 22 ½ hours a day – for multiple decades in some cases – has severe psychological implications.
Stuart Grassian, a Harvard psychiatrist specializing in solitary confinement, found that the effects of this type of confinement included trouble with thinking, perception, impulse control, memory, hallucinations and stimuli.3 It was considered after only a couple of weeks of solitary confinement to be “psychological torture.” The culmination of this treatment of prisoners and their conditions at Pelican Bay State Prison led to Amnesty International concluding that the facility was in violation of international law.4
If the intention of the prison system is rehabilitation so when prisoners are released they do not return, then we surely must object to solitary confinement.
This extremist version of solitary confinement employed by PBSP will therefore inevitably effect our greater society within the United States, as these inmates develop a gamut of mental illnesses that go untreated before being released back into the general population of the outside world. The “supposed” purpose of the prison system in this nation is to rehabilitate, but these SHU facilities do nothing of the sort and instead just inflict severe psychological damage on prisoners who will most likely be released at some point.
Prison officials at PBSP claim that the SHU facility is intended to keep their other prisons safer from gang violence, yet this kind of violence is still on the rise in California’s prison system, and the SHU is also filled with political prisoners with no gang affiliation who are only guilty of organizing within their respective prisons. This has led to the Center for Constitutional Rights filing a lawsuit against the entire California prison system for their use of long term solitary confinement, claiming it is a form of torture and therefore illegal. To put this all in perspective, solitary confinement was utilized in the 19th century as a form of self-reproach but was abandoned after concerns about the psychological effects of such treatment.5
Vaughn Dortch was convicted of petty thievery, got into fights in prison, and was then sent to Pelican Bay State Prison SHU unit. Upon several months of extreme solitary confinement, he began to deteriorate psychologically and covered himself in feces. He was then forced to take a bath in scalding hot water and held down against his will by guards until receiving third degree burns all over his body. Medics refused to give him any pain medication for thirty minutes and the head doctor even went as far as saying that he was not burned. Only one individual was found culpable and fired, while no mechanisms were put in place to prevent an incident like this from occurring again.6
Todd Ashker was convicted of burglary and sentenced to six years in prison. Upon entering the prison system, he got into an altercation with another prisoner over a debt and murdered him. According to Ashker, it was self-defense.
When an individual commits murder in prison when serving only a six year sentence, it can be argued that the defensive nature one must maintain within this type of system might be at least partially culpable. An anonymous informant told prison officials that Todd Ashker’s murder was connected to the Aryan Brotherhood and as a result of this he was also sent to Pelican Bay State Prison SHU unit, where those who commit violent acts in prison or have gang affiliations are sent.
While serving time there, Ashker got into another altercation; there are two versions of what happened, the state’s version and Ashker’s. According to Ashker, prison guards set him up for a “gladiator style” fight and when things escalated out of control, he was shot with an assault rifle by a guard in the wrist. His wound nearly severed his hand from his arm and he was immediately dumped into a urine and feces covered cell without medical treatment. Lack of sufficient medical treatment then and afterward resulted in Ashker getting an aneurysm in his wound.
The state of California’s official story was that they broke up a fight between Ashker and another inmate and that he was warned multiple times before being shot. The Department of Corrections also denies dumping him in a filthy cell and that lack of decent medical treatment resulted in his aneurysm. A couple of questions come to mind when evaluating the state’s official story.
How was Ashker allowed so close to another inmate, when he is supposedly in severe solitary confinement with little to no contact with anyone but prison officials? If the state’s story is so accurate, then why was Ashker awarded $225,000 in a lawsuit against the Department of Corrections in a state notoriously tough on criminals? “In this tough-on-crime attitude here in California, it’s always the case that jurors don’t want to give a criminal one red cent, so there must have been something that went on there at Pelican Bay,” said San Francisco attorney Herman Franck.7 These are the kinds of horrendous altercations that occur at Pelican Bay State Prison on top of the psychological torture endured by inmates for years and sometimes decades on end.
If we believe in basic human rights and dignity for all human beings, then we surely must object to solitary confinement.
The only way to get out of the SHU at Pelican Bay State Prison is to “debrief” – or tell prison officials everything you know about the prison gang you have been “validated” to belong to. The only problem is that “debriefing” results in the prisoner putting himself in tremendous danger of being killed once he is back in the general prison population. Because of this California leads the nation in long-term solitary confinement.
Another problematic aspect of these procedures is the process of “validating” gang members. The gang “validation” process has been criticized because it can occur without evidence of any specific illegal activity and heavily rely on anonymous informants, which is circumstantial and almost impossible to repudiate. In Ashker’s case, he has denied ties to the Aryan Brotherhood and has never been convicted of committing an illegal gang-related crime. If he is telling the truth, then how on earth is he supposed to “debrief” – even if he wanted to?
As a result of this quagmire and the horrendous conditions that Todd Ashker has had to endure for 26 years – 26 years of no direct sunlight or normal contact with human beings – he has decided to organize to end solitary confinement. Todd has filed lawsuits, organized hunger strikes and, most impressively, a call for a mutually agreed upon ending to hostilities between races and ethnicities in the California prison system.
According to this agreement, California prisoners will end group racial violence against one another and will force the prison system to provide rehabilitation programs and end solitary confinement – as they will have no other excuse left not to. It is these incredible circumstances and tortuous conditions that can lead groups that compete, hate and kill each other to find solidarity in a mutual struggle. For these incredible efforts, Todd says he has been refused proper medical care and given a plexiglas cellfront cover that makes his tiny cell incredibly hot, restricts air flow and makes it almost impossible to communicate.
What it all seems to come down to is whether or not the citizens of California feel it is worth psychologically torturing people for years – and in some cases decades – in order to keep the prison system safer, a claim debunked by the increase in prison violence since SHUs’ inception. If we object to Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, we surely must object to solitary confinement in the U.S.
If the intention of the prison system is rehabilitation so when prisoners are released they do not return, then we surely must object to solitary confinement. If we believe in basic human rights and dignity for all human beings, then we surely must object to solitary confinement. We must also ask ourselves, would I want a friend or family member to be broken down psychologically and tortured for decades by the state?
If we object to Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, we surely must object to solitary confinement in the U.S.
A society will be remembered by how it treats the most vulnerable and least advantaged individuals within it. Do we want to be remembered for slowly driving people insane for no reason?
James Simmons, a graduate student at the California Institute of Integral Studies studying prison activism with Anthropology Department Chair Andrej Grubacic, can be reached at email@example.com.
- How do people survive solitary confinement? (bbc.co.uk)
|Characteristics: Rape – Robberies|
|Number of victims: 2|
|Date of murder: January 31/March 11, 1988|
|Date of arrest: March 17, 1988|
|Date of birth: August 17, 1963|
|Victim profile: Susan Roark / Robyn Novick|
|Method of murder: Stabbing with knife – Strangulation|
|Location: Columbia County, Florida, USA|
|Status: Sentenced to death on April 3, 1990|
June 24, 2013
Convicted killer Marshall Lee Gore received a stay of execution just 30 minutes for his scheduled death Thursday evening.
It would have been the state’s third execution of the month.
Gore is the former owner of a South Florida escort service who was scheduled to die by lethal injection at 6 p.m.
Gore was convicted of the 1988 killing of Robyn Novick, a 30-year-old exotic dancer whose naked body was found in a rural part of Miami-Dade County. Gore also was sentenced to die for the slaying that same year of Susan Roark, whose body was found in Columbia County in northern Florida.
Besides the two death sentences, Gore was given seven life sentences and another 110 years in a case involving the attempted murder of a third woman. That attempt led to Gore’s arrest; he was convicted of stealing the woman’s red Toyota, which the FBI tracked to another state.
Gore’s execution will end a bizarre case. During his trial, Gore laughed, cursed and howled at the prosecution and even his own defense.
At one point Gore’s frustrated attorney turned to him and said, “He deserves to die.”
That led the Florida Supreme Court in 1988 to stay Gore’s execution, ruling that the attorney exceeded proper conduct and professionalism. A year later, though, Gore was retried and re-convicted and again sentenced to death.
Florida has had two other executions within the past month. On June 12, the state executed William Van Poyck for the 1987 murder of a prison guard during a botched attempt to free another inmate, and on May 29, Elmer Carroll was executed for the 1990 rape and murder of a 10-year-old girl.
The execution of Marshall Lee Gore is once again scheduled for 6 pm EDT, on June 24, 2013, at the Florida State Prison in Raiford, Florida.Forty-nine-year-old Marshall is scheduled to be executed for the murder of 30-year-old Robyn Novick on March 11, 1988, in Columbia County, Florida.Marshall has spent the past 23 years on death row.
On May 23, 2013, Florida Governor Rick Scott granted a temporary stay of execution to Marshall after his lawyer claimed he was insane and therefore ineligible for execution.The stay was lifted after a three-doctor commission examined Marshall and found him to be mentally competent and eligible for execution.After the doctors presented their findings to Governor Scott, the stay was lifted.Marshall’s execution will be carried out as originally planned.
On March 16, 1988, police were searching Dade County, Florida area for a missing juvenile.A police officer noticed a blue tarp on the ground.Under it was the remains of a female, later identified through dental records as Robyn Novick.She was naked, with a silver belt around her neck and a lace cloth around her left ankle.An autopsy discovered that she had been strangled and stabbed through the heart and lung.All were fatal injuries.
Upon investigation, police discovered that on Friday, March 11, 1988, a girl wearing a black dress with a silver belt was seen at a local bar around 8 pm.She was driving a yellow Corvette and had a male passenger.A night manager identified Robyn as the female and Marshall Gore as the passenger.Both were identified through a photo lineup.
Between 10 and 11 pm, a yellow Corvette was seen parked on the street in front of a house where Gore was staying with friends.The house was “within a few hundred feet” of where Robyn’s body was found.Another resident of the house acknowledged seeing the yellow Corvette around 2 am.Gore then left the house and returned a short time later, saying he had been in a car accident.Keys to the yellow Corvette were later found in the house.Gore then sought shelter at a different friend’s house, saying the police were looking for him and that he had been involved in a car accident while driving a yellow Corvette.
Police were called to the scene of a car crash involving a yellow Corvette.The occupants were missing when the police arrived.The vehicle bore the vanity tag “Robyn N,” and inside the vehicle was a gold cigarette case with the initials RGN, various credit cards and a Florida’s driver license.The credit cards and the driver’s license both bore the name Robyn G. Novick.
Gore was arrested on March 17, 1988, in Paducah, Kentucky, driving the stolen vehicle of Tina Coralis, a woman who had survived an attempted murder by Gore.Tina’s case and Robyn’s case shared many similarities.Gore denied murdering Robyn, claiming he did not know her.He also claims he was not responsible for Tina’s injuries as they occurred when she jumped out of a moving car.Gore was convicted and the jury recommended the death penalty by a vote of 12 to 0.
During Gore’s trial, evidence was presented linking him to the murder of Susan Roark.He was later convicted for her murder and received a second death penalty.Susan and Robyn’s murders shared many similarities, along with his attempted murder of Tina Coralis.All three were stabbed and choked before being abandoned.Gore was also known to have been in possession of all three victims’ cars, after the victims went missing.
In addition to two death sentences, Gore has received seven life sentences for kidnappings, sexual batteries with a weapon or force, and robbery with a gun or deadly weapon.Gore has also received 110 years for various attempted murder, rape, and theft convictions.
murderpedia opinion’s source
Supreme Court of Florida
|opinion 75955||opinion 86249|
|opinion SC96127||opinion SC01-1524|
Convicted and sentenced to death in the murders of Curtis and Gloria Plummer. DeRosa and co-defendant then robbed them, stabbed them, and cut their throats, leaving them dead on the floor. DeRosa and Castleberry then stole approximately $73 and left in the Plummers’ 1998 Chevrolet pickup truck. The Plummers knew DeRosa, because he had previously worked for them on their ranch. He and Castleberry were apparently allowed into the home, which had a security system, on the pretense of looking for a further work opportunity.
DeRosa has been on death row since December 10, 2001.
Two-time killer executed at OSP
By Rachel Petersen, The McAlester News-Capital
McALESTER — A two-time convicted killer, and death row inmate at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, was executed via lethal injection Tuesday evening in the prison’s death chamber.
James Lewis DeRosa, 36, was convicted Oct. 19, 2001, of two counts of first-degree murder and was subsequently sentenced to death.
DeRosa did not make any last requests prior to his execution, this includes a last meal request. At around noon Tuesday, he was offered a meal, one that was being served to the entire inmate population, and he denied accepting the food, according to Terry Crenshaw, OSP warden’s assistant.
DeRosa’a execution began at 6:01 p.m. When the blinds between the execution chamber and the witness room were raised, DeRosa did not turn his head. He stared up at the ceiling. OSP Warden Anita Trammell asked him if he had any last words and DeRosa said, “No Ma’am.”
Trammell then said, “Let the execution begin.”
DeRosa blinked a number of times before he began to breath heavily. He had one last long exhale and his eyelids stopped blinking. The color began to drain from his face and he was pronounced dead by an attending physician at 6:07 p.m.
Members of the victim’s family spoke after DeRosa’s execution was complete. “This is not about DeRosa,” said Janet Tolbert, whose parents were murdered by DeRosa. “This is about Curtis and Gloria Plummer.” Tolbert said her family is glad that justice has finally been served. She said her parents suffered a “horrendous” death. “Nothing compared to that light death” DeRosa just had, she said.
Tolbert and her daughter, Dana Gilliam, both wore white t-shirts with pictures of the Plummers printed on the front.
Witnessing DeRosa’s execution were five members of the media, 13 members of the victim’s family, two of DeRosa’s attorneys, three law enforcement representatives, Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Justin Jones and DOC Deputy Director Laura Pitman.
Earlier this month, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted 3-2 against granting DeRosa clemency earlier this month.
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt filed a request March 25 with the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to set DeRosa’s execution date after the U.S. Supreme Court denied the inmate’s final appeal.
In October 2000, Curtis Plummer, 73, and Gloria Plummer, 70, both of Poteau, were found dead in their home with multiple stab wounds and with their throats cut. About one year later, in October 2001, DeRosa was found guilty by a jury of his peers for the LeFlore County first-degree murders of the Plummers. He was subsequently sentenced to death.
According to Pruitt, DeRosa was briefly employed by the Plummers and told several friends on multiple occasions he thought the elderly couple would be an easy target to rob. DeRosa’s 21-year-old friend, Eric Castleberry, now 33, and also known as John E. Castleberry, agreed to help with the robbery. Castleberry’s 18-year-old friend, Scotty White, now 30, agreed to drive.
Pruitt said DeRosa and Castleberry were welcomed into the Plummer’s home, which at the time was equipped with a security system. Once in the home, Pruitt said, DeRosa and Castleberry brandished knives and, while the couple begged and struggled for their lives, DeRosa stabbed the Plummers multiple times and slit their throats, the AG’s office reported.
“DeRosa and Castleberry left the scene with $73 and the couple’s pickup truck,” Pruitt said. “The truck was ditched in a nearby lake.”
In exchange for a life sentence without the possibility of parole,Castleberry testified at DeRosa’s trial. Castleberry is serving his two life sentences at OSP in McAlester.
White was charged with accessory to first-degree murder after the fact and received two 25-year sentences, to be served concurrently, and the last seven years to be served as probation. He is serving time at the Lawton Correctional Facility and has since been convicted of escaping from the Department of Corrections. He is scheduled to be released on Nov. 10, 2026, and has a parole hearing set in August of 2015.
DeRosa was received into the Oklahoma Department of Corrections on Dec. 10, 2001. He had been housed in Oklahoma’s death row at OSP in McAlester.