Georgia Ordered To Videotape Execution

Last night (July 20), Georgia was scheduled to execute Andrew Grant DeYoung, but postponed the execution 24 hours over questions that the state’s new three-drug cocktail inflicts unconstitutional levels of pain. If DeYoung is executed tonight, he will become the second death row inmate to be killed by Georgia with their new lethal injection protocol. Last month, Roy Blankenship was the guinea pig for this new procedure, and his death did not go as planned.

Georgia was forced to amend its execution procedure after its supply of sodium thiopental was surrendered to the DEA amid an investigation into that drug’s questionable origins abroad. Georgia then switched from sodium thiopental to pentobarbital, a drug whose Danish manufacturer explicitly opposes its use in executions.

Due to the unnecessary suffering apparent in Blankenship’s execution, a Georgia superior court judge ordered that DeYoung’s execution be videotaped for further private examination by the court. This would be the first such recording since a California execution in 1992. Georgia argued that the videotaping should not be permitted, but the Georgia Supreme Court denied the state’s attempt to prevent the recording.

Brian Kammer, an attorney involved in both Blankenship and DeYoung’s cases, questioned the motives of the prison officials. “At this point, we need an objective recording to eliminate any dispute as to what transpires in the next lethal injection…If there’s nothing to hide, then the Department of Corrections should want to allow scrutiny and a recording of its practices.”

A more basic question might be, if the risk of inflicting cruel and unusual punishment is enough to warrant a videotape, why are the courts allowing the execution to occur at all?

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12 thoughts on “Georgia Ordered To Videotape Execution

  1. Amnesty International USA, why do you always call the Drug Enforcement Administration just "DEA", but never "Drug Enforcement Administration"? Anyway, I will still pray for Andrew and his remaining family, because his execution will be very sad and tragic. :(

  2. Amnesty International USA, why do you always call the Drug Enforcement Administration just “DEA”, but never “Drug Enforcement Administration”? Anyway, I will still pray for Andrew and his remaining family, because his execution will be very sad and tragic. :(

  3. The drug worked well and did what it was supposed to do. He crocked with no outward response so the argument about it being ineffective is settled. Now bring on the rest of the animals on death row for their medicine.

  4. The drug worked well and did what it was supposed to do. He crocked with no outward response so the argument about it being ineffective is settled. Now bring on the rest of the animals on death row for their medicine.

  5. Settled? The argument is far from settled. First of all, just because one inmate has a normal response to the drugs does not mean that all inmates respond in the same way. Like all medications, people have different reactions to them. This is apparent from the fact that Roy Blankenship exhibited outward signs of struggle while DeYoung appeared to drift slowly off to sleep. That may be because of simple biological differences between the two or because the dosages of these execution drugs, unlike other medications, are not adjusted for factors such as weight. Secondly, the question of whether an inmate is experiencing pain is near to impossible to determine based on a videotape because they are given a paralytic agent immediately after the anesthetic. If the pentobarbital (anesthetic) does not work, the inmate will not be able to indicate his/her pain outwardly because they are paralyzed. The only way to know for sure would be if the inmate were hooked up to more sophisticated medical equipment that can register one's perception of pain. In short, because DeYoung did not exhibit any outward manifestations of pain from the procedure does NOT prove that "the argument about it being ineffective is settled". Far from it.

  6. Settled? The argument is far from settled. First of all, just because one inmate has a normal response to the drugs does not mean that all inmates respond in the same way. Like all medications, people have different reactions to them. This is apparent from the fact that Roy Blankenship exhibited outward signs of struggle while DeYoung appeared to drift slowly off to sleep. That may be because of simple biological differences between the two or because the dosages of these execution drugs, unlike other medications, are not adjusted for factors such as weight. Secondly, the question of whether an inmate is experiencing pain is near to impossible to determine based on a videotape because they are given a paralytic agent immediately after the anesthetic. If the pentobarbital (anesthetic) does not work, the inmate will not be able to indicate his/her pain outwardly because they are paralyzed. The only way to know for sure would be if the inmate were hooked up to more sophisticated medical equipment that can register one’s perception of pain. In short, because DeYoung did not exhibit any outward manifestations of pain from the procedure does NOT prove that “the argument about it being ineffective is settled”. Far from it.

  7. Who cares if de Young felt pain or not. Too bad we can't ask his victims the same question,oops he killed them.
    He got what he deserved,we are rid of another dangerous animal who cannot harm anyone else. Yea for Georgia.

  8. Who cares if de Young felt pain or not. Too bad we can’t ask his victims the same question,oops he killed them.
    He got what he deserved,we are rid of another dangerous animal who cannot harm anyone else. Yea for Georgia.

  9. Too bad that M.A.Korman and Rodricka Quincy will never understand why they are wrong.

  10. Too bad that M.A.Korman and Rodricka Quincy will never understand why they are wrong.

  11. I just commented on the Larry Swearingen and Cameron Todd Willingham cases here in Texas. It looks like we aren't the only state with a shameful record on death penalty cases, although we are probably the worst.

  12. I just commented on the Larry Swearingen and Cameron Todd Willingham cases here in Texas. It looks like we aren’t the only state with a shameful record on death penalty cases, although we are probably the worst.