Notes from around the Human Experience…
GREAT MOMENTS IN THE DEATH PENALTY: The state of Ohio tried to execute Alva Campbell this week.
It failed in that attempt.
Fly In The Ointment: Campbell is 69-years-old, suffers from the ailments a lot of old men suffer from and the state was unable to find a vein to stick needles in so the chemicals that would kill him could do their work.
This wasn’t a bulletin. A pre-execution exam could not locate suitable veins and also discovered Campbell could not breathe while lying down. The state, and we are not making this up, graciously decided to provide a pillow so Campbell could breathe in the moments before it killed him.
Dry, Technical Matter: Campbell’s execution was rescheduled for June 5. Perhaps the state will mandate Campbell work with a personal trainer so his health will improve so they can find a vein. Ideally, Campbell will have the grace to die on his own before we are obliged to go through this again.
Gaylon For Congress…Vote Early, Vote Often: As we said during campaigns for the United States Senate and House of Representatives, the death penalty should be abolished because America has executed innocent people.
Guilt, though, does not appear to be an issue here perhaps because Campbell is so old he’s forgotten whether he’s done it or not. No matter. Ohio is providing other reasons because this is not the first time they’ve had someone strapped to a gurney waiting to die, only to have them returned to death row.
There’s Gotta Be One Here Somewhere: In 2009 Romell Broom spent two hours on the gurney while up to 15 people tried to find a vein. They were so intent on their mission the took a 45-minute break to regroup. Then-Governor Ted Strickland stopped the execution after 18 attempts to find a vein. Now 61, Broom remains on death row.
Judged aside Broom’s standard Campbell got off easy because he was only obliged to tolerate 27-minutes of poking before being returned to death row.
Oh Yeah: Ohio really needs to upgrade the class of person it condemns to death so it will be easier for them to find veins. In 2007 it took so long to find a vein in Christopher Newton they let him use the bathroom before eventually killing him.
Welcome To The Daily Dose Law Review: And you do not have to be Perry Mason to start wondering exactly what should happen after a state is unable to carry out an execution order. Some say you merely keep trying, but Broom and Campbell were each issued one death sentence, not two or three. Ohio tried to execute their sentences but failed. Broom and Campbell should have their sentences commuted or, better yet, vacated. It’s not their fault the state couldn’t carry their sentences out.
The Bottom Line: Are we the only ones who find this episode as embarrassing as it is absurd? How much vengeance do we need? Would the good folks of Ohio have been any safer had Campbell’s sentence been carried out? Of course not. They should let a sick old man die in peace.
UP, UP AND AWAY: Man leaves Earth untethered for the first time when two Frenchmen, Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier and Francois Laurent d’Arlandes make the first untethered hot air balloon flight on this date in 1783.
Originally fearing disaster, French King Louis XVI had decreed that condemned criminals would make the first untethered flight but, sensing history, Pilatre de Rozier and Laurent d’Arlandes talked His Majesty out of it.
Whoops: Pilatre de Rozier would make even more history two years later when he became History’s first in-flight fatality, dying when his balloon crashed while trying to cross the English Channel.
New From Ronco Records: Thomas Edison’s Greatest Hits: One of mankind’s most useful men, Thomas Edison, announced the invention of the phonograph on this date in 1877. While not the first machine to record sound, it was the first that could play that sound back.
“Good Morning. How Do You Do? How Do You Like The Phonograph?”: The phonograph record would remain the dominant audio recording format – even surviving 8-tracks and cassettes – until the emergence of CDs and digital recording formats.
Where Are The Cat Videos?: What would eventually become the Internet goes online when computers at UCLA and a northern California research institute are permanently linked on this date in 1969. By December computers at UC-Santa Barbara and the University of Utah were connected.
LOL: Earlier attempts at networking had been temporary with – and this will surprise you – the networks sometimes crashing.
Quotebook: Who can ask more of a man/Than giving all within his span/Giving all, it seems to me/Is not so far from victory – George Moriarty, The Road Ahead of the Road Behind
Answer To The Last Trivia Question: Apollo 12 landed about 885 miles from Apollo 11.
Today’s Stumper: Which amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment?- Answer next time!