James Pavatt - Lethal injection questioned in Oklahoma case
Sun Feb 28, 2010 16:25
Lethal injection questioned in Oklahoma case Death row inmate claims that execution procedure violates constitutional guarantees BY NOLAN CLAY February 28, 2010
A death row inmate who helped his lover murder her husband says the way executions are done in Oklahoma is inhumane.
James Pavatt, 56, was sentenced to death for the Nov. 20, 2001, fatal shooting of Oklahoma City ad executive Rob Andrew.
He is the latest inmate to complain in Oklahoma City federal court that executions have been botched because of problems with the state’s lethal injection procedure.
Pavatt is asking a judge to find the three-drug procedure violates constitutional guarantees against cruel and unusual punishment.
"Lethal injection has been promoted as a peaceful way to induce death, like euthanizing a pet — a single injection, quick unconsciousness, no struggling or movement, and death within seconds. With frightening regularity, however, that is not what happens in Oklahoma,” his attorneys contend in a Feb. 12 lawsuit.
His attorneys contend there is evidence certain executed inmates in Oklahoma did not get enough of a drug that is supposed to cause unconsciousness before getting a paralyzing drug, then a heart-stopping drug. They point to three specific executions as examples.
They wrote that without enough of the first drug, inmates suffer intense pain as they remain conscious but unable to breathe because of the paralysis drug. They wrote the heart-stopping drug, potassium chloride, "feels like a fire traveling through the vein to the heart.”
They told the judge the state’s execution process "recklessly subjects condemned prisoners to significant and utterly unnecessary risks that they will be tortured to death.” They wrote, "The sources of error are many.”
Other death row inmates have made the same complaint about Oklahoma’s procedure but lost. The state has not responded yet to Pavatt’s case. But, in a 2008 case, an assistant attorney general pointed out the U.S. Supreme Court had upheld the constitutionality of a three-drug Kentucky procedure that is similar to Oklahoma’s.
The assistant attorney general noted the Supreme Court wrote "a condemned prisoner cannot successfully challenge a state’s method of execution merely by showing a slightly or marginally safer alternative.”
One state, Ohio, changed to a single-drug procedure last year after an execution was called off. Pavatt and his lover, Brenda Andrew, killed the victim for $800,000 in life insurance benefits, and then fled to Mexico with the Andrews’ two children, according to evidence at their trials.
The victim and his wife were divorcing.
The victim was shot in his garage as he came to his old house to pick up his children for the Thanksgiving weekend.
Pavatt and Brenda Andrew were caught crossing back into the United States months later.
Brenda Andrew also was sentenced to death. She is awaiting execution.
It baffles me to see these arguments from these cold blooded murderers claiming that lethal injection is inhumane. As if being gunned down in the dark with a shotgun the way James Pavatt killed his... more
Hi Glen, I fully understand what your saying none of the victims of crime deserved what they got it was wrong and inhumane as you pointed out,But what your suggesting is also inhumane in fact its... more
Actually, I must ask for forgiveness. I may have been somewhat harsh. I do not believe, that what I said should apply in every case. I do believe in the death penalty, under certain circumstances. I... more
I live in Oklahoma, and I remember hearing the 911 call on the news. Th thing is Pavatt, and Brenda Andrew were cold blooded assholes. I can't believe how stupid they both were to think the OKCPD... more
So you don't see LWOP as a fitting punishment for the accused? only more blood shed is the answer. The problem with the defence and prosecution is most will do anything to win there case it won't be... more