The 40th Execution of 2010
Georgia's suicidal death row inmate was executed last night. Brandon Joseph Rhode tried to kill himself last week by slashing his arms and throat with a razor blade. Since his suicide attempt his execution had been postponed several times as his lawyer's feverishly attempted to halt his execution.
An excerpt from the Associated Press report of Rhode's execution is below:
Rhode, was put to death by injection at the state prison in Jackson. He was pronounced dead at 10:16 p.m. Rhode declined to speak any last words or have a final prayer.
He was convicted in 2000 of killing Steven Moss, 37, his 11-year-old son Bryan and 15-year-old daughter Kristin during a burglary of their Jones County home in central Georgia. His coconspirator, Daniel Lucas, was also sentenced to death in a separate trial and remains on death row.
Rhode's execution had been set for 7 p.m. but was pushed back several hours as corrections officials waited for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide on his plea for a stay of execution. The court rejected appeals later that night.
Medics then tried for about 30 minutes to find a vein to inject the three-drug concoction.
The prisoner's eyes darted around the room before the lethal mixture began coursing through his veins. Within minutes he was staring blankly at the ceiling of the death chamber. Moments before Rhode was pronounced dead he turned his head, exposing a bandage over the part of his neck he slashed.
It took 14 minutes for the lethal dose to kill him.
Rhode had initially been scheduled to be put to death Sept. 21, but the Georgia Supreme Court postponed the execution after Rhode was rushed to the hospital that day following a suicide attempt.
Rhode was stabilized at a local hospital and placed in a restraining chair to prevent him from removing the sutures from his neck or doing any other harm to himself, state attorneys said. Defense attorney Brian Kammer countered that Rhode was put in a "torture chair" and subjected to cruel and unusual punishment.
"He has been subjected to the surreal and incomprehensible: Heroic measures taken to stabilize his life by the prison staff that would then execute him," Kammer said in one court filing.
Kammer urged the Georgia Supreme Court Monday to push back the execution again so experts could evaluate whether Rhode was mentally competent to be executed, or understood why he was being punished. He said Rhode lost half his blood Sept. 21 when he cut himself, went into shock and could have suffered brain damage.
"The threat of execution has pushed Mr. Rhode's limited coping skills to the breaking point," spurring him to slash himself with blades he hid from guards while under a blanket, he said in the filing.
Rhode was the second person executed in Georgia this year and the 48th since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. He is the 1,228th execution nationwide since 1976.
To read article: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5igXfqGonSLFvkDzm_G47hMEs-qdQD9IGM1F01?docId=D9IGM1F01
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