Thursday, July 19, 2012

Update: One is the loneliest number

So Rick Perry proved once again that he's man enough to preside over the murder of an inmate. This is the same man who has presided over drastic cuts to state education budgets, mental health budgets and is opposed to anything that might allow the working poor to acquire health insurance coverage. But damn, he certainly is proud of the $25 million the state spent to restore the Governor's mansion and the $10,000 or so a month he received so he could live in a mansion in Austin. And, of course, let's not forget the massive bill he presented to taxpayers to help fund his abortive presidential campaign.

So the state was having a hard time acquiring sodium thiopental because the makers of the drug didn't want bloodthirsty politicians in the States using it to kill people. You know, something about that oath that begins "Do no harm." Then Texas decided to substitute pentobarbital for the first drug of the lethal cocktail pumped into the veins of the condemned man strapped to the gurney.

But then some other problems began popping up and Gov. Perry and his lackeys decided they needed to rethink the lethal cocktail before someone else up and decided that they didn't want their drug known as the killer drug.

Someone over at TDCJ (Texas Department of Criminal Justice) then decided it was time to simplify matters and just use one drug - pentobarbital. Nevermind that no one has conducted tests on the drug to ensure it doesn't have any side effects (besides death). Nope. It's cheaper and we've still got some of it in the medicine cabinet so let's just use the damn stuff.

And so Yokamon Hearn got to be the guinea pig. They strapped him to a gurney and pumped him full of a lethal dose of pentobarbital. He died of a drug overdose. But because the drug is a sedative, we will never know what Mr. Hearn felt as the drug circulated through his body.

Of course most people probably don't care if he experienced any pain or discomfort. He was a bad man, after all. He killed a young man who was minding his own business. A black teenager with developmental issues killed a young, white stockbroker in the Dallas suburbs. His attorneys never even bothered to put on mitigation evidence during the punishment phase of his trial.

Mr. Hearn's actions hurt a lot of people. A family lost one of their members. A friend was lost. There's no denying that what Mr. Hearn did that night had a negative impact on many people.

But the victim isn't all of a sudden back among the living. His family isn't once again whole. His friends don't have him back.

Killing Mr. Hearn didn't undo what happened back in 1998. Killing Mr. Hearn didn't heal the hurt and sorrow. Killing Mr. Hearn only served to satisfy some folks' need for revenge and gives Gov. Perry another notch in his belt.

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