Texas & Florida Governors-Go on Execution Marathon (Including recent execution of a “mentally disabled” man)
–By Gregg L Greer, Editor for One World
Governor Rick Scott has accelerated the pace of signing death warrants in Florida at one point recently by lining up three executions over the in a matter of weeks, the largest in such a brief period, in more than two decades. “It appears that every 10 days, Gov. Scott is signing a death warrant.” Said Martin McClain, a lawyer who has defended many Florida death row inmates.–
Again, Scott not long ago signed three death warrants in succession, for sentenced murderers Elmer Leon Carroll, William Van Poyck and Marshall Lee Gore. All three have been on death row for greater than 20 years, A historical record.
In TEXAS- Governor Rick Perry on Wednesday April 9, 2013-executed Ramiro Hernández Llanas, a Mexican national with a mental disability, with research conducted by Amnesty International. Ramiro Hernandez Llanas had a final hope for mercy a reprieve from the state governor because the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles denied clemency.
There have been 15 executions in the USA this year, five of them in Texas. Since Judicial Killing resumed in the USA in 1977 under revised capital statutes, there have been 1,374 executions nationwide. Texas accounts for 513 of these executions; 274 of them have happened during Governor Perry’s time in office.
In the Hernandez Llanas case, the state had relied upon racial stereotyping and the views of discredited “expertise” to secure his death sentence – now carried out shortly after 6pm, local time, on 9 April.
“This case cried out for Governor Perry to use his power of reprieve. He must have recognized that the state has relied upon shoddy ‘expert’ testimony to get Ramiro Hernández Llanas to the death chamber,” said Rob Freer, Amnesty International’s researcher on the USA.
At the 2000 trial, the prosecution turned to the testimony of a discredited psychiatrist, Dr. James Grigson, to rebut the opinions of mental health experts retained by the defense. Grigson, who had never examined the defendant, declared that Ramiro Hernández Llanas would likely commit future acts of criminal violence because he was a sociopath who lacked a conscience. James Grigson persuading the jury that the defendant will be a “future danger” to society, even in prison, reprimanded and although Grigson was expelled from the American Psychiatric Association because of his resort to such unscientific testimony in capital trials,” said Rob Freer.
Being supportive of Hernández Llanas-The Mexican government filed a brief in the US Supreme Court in January condemning the “defamatory stereotyping of the functional abilities of persons raised in Mr. Hernandez’s low socio-economic, Mexican culture.”
Given that which came next – was psychiatric testimony tainted by racial stereotyping – this case stood out starkly as one more Texas injustice that turned into continuity in the lethal injection chamber.
“Here it is again, Texas carried out a death sentence against someone whose mental disability called the constitutionality of his execution into serious question. Governor Perry did not act as a matter of urgency.”
Last week the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights issued “precautionary measures,” calling on the USA not to go ahead with the execution so that the Commission could have time to consider a petition before it. Today, the Commission stressed that for the USA to allow the execution to go ahead in these circumstances would “seriously contravenes its international legal obligations.”
Ramiro Hernandez Llanas was sentenced to death in February 2000 for the murder of his employer, Glen Lich, who was bludgeoned to death at his ranch in Kerr County on 14 October 1997.
Hernández Llanas only knew severe poverty in Mexico, as a child with his family living in a cardboard shack next to a scavenge dump. In tests conducted over the past decade, Ramiro Hernandez Llanas has been evaluated as having an IQ in the 50s or 60s. He suffered from severe adaptive functioning deficits across a range of skill areas including linguistic, academic, conceptual, social, work and domestic.
There have been 15 executions in the USA this year, five of them in Texas. Since judicial killing resumed in the USA in 1977 under revised capital statutes, there have been 1,374 executions nationwide. Texas accounts for 513 of these executions; 274 of them have occurred during Governor Perry’s time in office. (glg)
Can the state, which represents the whole of society and has the duty of protecting society, fulfill that duty by lowering itself to the level of the murderer, and treating him as he treated others? The forfeiture of life is too absolute, too irreversible, for one human being to inflict it on another, even when backed by legal process. And I believe that future generations, throughout the world, will come to agree.
Kofi Annan, Ghanaian diplomat and Secretary General of the United Nations 1997 -2007.
Gregg L. Greer a Public Speaker, Pastor, Writer and Social Activist. Greer is the Founder/Editor of One World, and One World Today internet journals. you can reach him at Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.