August 9, 1987
In an editorial ("Texas Does It Slowly," July 26), you describe a botched execution of a convicted murderer and ask your readers to "consider whether what was done . . . cruel and unusual or not?" I agree that taking 35 minutes to find a vein in the condemned man's arm so that the catheter could be inserted and the lethal poison be injected is hardly consistent with the spirit of the U.S. Constitution which prohibits "cruel and unusual punishment." Considering The Times' high standards of professional journalism, what mystifies me is how in that editorial you chose to ask a series of blatantly cruel and unusual questions in print that I think you should have gotten answers to before writing the editorial.
December 2, 1992 |
A man who sought to be put to death after being convicted of killing three boys will be executed Jan. 5, a judge has ruled. Westley Allan Dodd, 31, repeated his wish to skip appeals and be executed during a hearing Monday before Clark County Superior Court Judge Robert Harris. He also chose hanging instead of death by injection. "I don't believe the state has any choice but to carry out my execution," Dodd told the judge.
August 4, 2008 |
The state is set to defy the World Court and anger Mexico by executing a Mexican national who was not informed of his right to consular services after his arrest. Jose Medellin received a death sentence for the 1993 rape and murder of 16-year-old Elizabeth Pena in Houston. The World Court last month ordered the U.S. to "take all measures necessary" to halt the execution of five Mexicans until it makes a final judgment in the dispute. Medellin is the first of those scheduled to die. Alison Castle, a spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Perry, said he would probably make his decision Tuesday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 18, 1994
The execution of John Wayne Gacy (May 10) was a sad spectacle. People marched the streets of Chicago demanding Gacy's execution, a prosecutor declared that it would be "a privilege to see him draw his last breath," and law enforcement officers threw a party to celebrate the extinguishment of life. These people have succumbed to hatred, becoming killers just like Gacy. Gandhi said that "an eye for an eye makes us all blind." We need to open our eyes and see that state-sanctioned killing cheapens the value of life for all of us. ROBERT M. MYERS Sherman Oaks What a strange world we live in!
March 10, 2012 |
In the weeks before he was executed for strangling a man to death, Arizona inmate Robert Towery kept a diary. His writings began Feb. 2, when he was transferred to a “death watch” cell in state prison, and ended Thursday, shortly before he was put to death by lethal injection at 11:26 a.m. The Associated Press described the execution -- and the events leading up to it. Towery, 47, had been convicted of killing Mark Jones during a...
March 1, 2013 |
China executes about 4,000 people a year. On Friday, four of those people got the full reality-TV “Big Brother” treatment. As The Times' Barbara Demick reported : Chinese state television Friday broadcast nearly one hour of live images of the last moments of four foreign drug traffickers about to be executed for the 2011 killing of 13 Chinese fishermen on the Mekong River. Although the cameras pulled away before the final lethal injection, the unprecedented pre-execution coverage unleashed a storm of criticism and debate about the death penalty.
July 18, 2012 |
HOUSTON -- Texas officials Wednesday were preparing for the state's first single-drug lethal injection after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the appeals of death row inmate Yokamon Hearn. The justices refused Hearn's appeals hours before he was scheduled to be executed for the 1998 murder of Frank Meziere, a stockbroker shot after a carjacking at a Dallas car wash. Hearn's execution, which could start any time after 6 p.m. Central time, will be the sixth in Texas this year -- for a total of 482 since the state began executing inmates by lethal injection in December 1982, a Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman told the Los Angeles Times.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 26, 1991 |
A 33-year-old man was shot in the head execution-style in his garage, police said Monday. Police said they have no suspects in the Sunday night shooting of Bruce Gordon Hanson Jr. No gun was found at the scene. Hanson died of a single gunshot wound to the head, Sgt. Jim Hudson said. Police said Hanson's girlfriend, who was inside the house they shared at 350 S. Grand St., heard "a loud bang" at 8:52 p.m. coming from the attached garage.
May 28, 2008
Re "Inmate is denied DNA test," May 23 As an attorney with the public defender's office in Los Angeles for the last 23 years, I find it difficult to understand how the state Supreme Court could deny a DNA test to an inmate who faces execution. The test requested was not available at the time of inmate Charles Keith Richardson's trial. Shouldn't we be absolutely sure that a person is guilty before we subject him or her to the absolute and irrevocable penalty of death? The cost to our society of executing an innocent person far exceeds whatever costs and delays are involved in testing.
June 24, 1989 |
Double murderer Sean P. Flanagan was put to death at the Nevada State Prison on Friday, and his final words were those of love for his prosecutor. As five guards strapped Flanagan, 28, to a gurney in the death chamber at the prison, the condemned man smiled and told prosecutor Dan Seaton, "I love you." "He has said it before," Seaton said. "He means it in terms of Christian love and forgiveness." Flanagan was executed for two 1987 killings in Las Vegas after Gov. Robert Miller rejected a last-minute petition for a stay from the American Civil Liberties Union.