Friday, December 15, 2017

Because It Went So Well Here

So they decided - narrowly, but astounding given the place and the choice - that they'd rather not send the guy who yearns for the time of slavery, who thinks the amendments striking down slavery and allowing blacks and women to vote, who thinks homosexuality should be a crime, and who doesn't believe that his state is bound by the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court on the Constitution, the guy who maybe, probably, spent his thirties trolling for14 and 15 year old girls . . .

They decided they'd rather send to the Senate a guy who favors abortion on demand and prosecuted members of the Klan.

Alabama, it seems, is showing a bit of envy.  It's like it wants to be, at least a little, like the rest of the country.

But why pick Ohio?

You'll remember how last month we here in the Buckeye State decided that a 69 year old guy who gets around on a walker, wears a colostomy bag on the outside, suffers from COPD and cancer - a guy who has maybe 6 months to live - should be executed rather than left to die on his own in prison, where he'd been for some 20 years.

You'll remember that Alva Campbell had veins that couldn't be accessed by needles, but they'd try anyway, 'cause he was sentenced to be killed and that meant he couldn't be allowed to just die. 

And you'll remember that they tried for about 30 minutes to kill him - and then gave up.  Making him the second person in the country, after Romell Broom, to survive the attempt at lethal injection.  Both in Ohio, incompetence capital of the nation.

And so, after beating back Roy Moore (who's demonstrably not anti-semitic, says his wife, because "one of our attorneys is a Jew") and sending Doug Jones to Washington . . . .
Doyle Lee Hamm

They're getting set to kill Doyle Lee Hamm in February.

 Of course, killing folks is nothing new for Alabama.  They've executed three folks this year.  They've got 191 or so on death row. 

But let's just focus on Hamm, on death row for robbing and killing Patrick Cunningham.  Here's the short version, from Jennifer Gonnerman in the New Yorker last year.
Growing up, Hamm flunked first grade, drank beer and whiskey mixed together, graduated to sniffing glue several times a day, quit school in the ninth grade, ingested Valium and Percocet and quaaludes, watched his six older brothers all go to jail, and eventually acquired his own extensive rap sheet, including arrests for burglary, assault, and grand larceny. He married and had one daughter. (The marriage lasted six months; his wife cited “habitual drunkenness” as one of the grounds for divorce.) In January of 1987, Hamm went on a crime spree that included a shooting in Mississippi and ended when he and two accomplices were arrested following the murder of a motel clerk in Alabama. About three hundred and fifty dollars were missing from the register and the clerk was found on the floor, shot once in the temple. Hamm confessed to the murder, and, at thirty years old, was condemned to death by way of Alabama’s electric chair, which was painted yellow and known by the nickname Yellow Mama.
Got that? 

Carol Robinson at has more.  He's 60.  Been on death row for 30 years now.  They call him Pops.  And, oh yeah he's been fighting cranial and lymphatic cancer for several years now.  It's terminal. 

Oh, and his veins are no good.  Mark Heath, an anesthesiologist on the faculty at Columbia University, examined Hamm a couple of months ago. 
"There are no accessible veins on [Hamm's] left upper extremity (arm/hand) or either of his lower extremities (legs/feet)," Heath found. Use of one "potentially accessible" vein on Hamm's right hand "would have a high chance of rupturing the vein and being unsuccessful," he added in a written statement Harcourt filed with the court.
The inability of corrections personnel to inject the drugs properly could "cause Mr. Hamm to become paralyzed and consciously suffocate" and would be "an agonizing death," said Heath, whose research has documented problems in the administration of lethal injections nationwide.
All of which makes Doyle Hamm look an awful lot like Alva Campbell.  Who we in Ohio tried to kill last month because it was important not that he die soon but that he be killed.

As I say Alabama has its eye on being not just a southern backwater.  It wants, apparently, to be Ohio.

1 comment:

  1. Abortion... right. Tell anyone who wants to become involved in the abortion issues, in any way whatsoever, to read Gosnell: The Untold Story of America's Most Prolific Serial Killer by Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer, then decide just what should be done. I, personally, believe that abortion should remain legal and available (State funded) but should be regulated to the point that it leaves welts.

    Given the state of the legal system in general, the death penalty should be outlawed until the members of the jury who recommend it are demonstrably willing to throw the switch themselves. And I don't mean theoretically, either. Not only do we end up with innocent people on death row, but the process is a long way from being idiot proof - and the justice system has no shortage of idiots.

    Nice to see you're still sitting up and taking notice, Jeff.