Sunday, November 18, 2007
The refusal to allow Mr. Lightbourne the opportunity to question the people who will carry out executions has led to the blind presumption of deference to the executive branch in fulfilling its obligations.
Mr. Lightbourne tried at every turn in the proceedings below to learn information from and present the testimony
Taylor v. Crawford, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42949 (W.D. Mo. June 26, 2006).
of the executioners and so-called medically qualified personnel who participated in
the Diaz execution and who will participate in future executions
(and to this day does not know whether the individuals are the same).
It is a denial of due process to deny Mr. Lightbourne the opportunity to learn or present information necessary to overcome the presumption that the DOC will properly perform its duties.
In other states where defendants have been afforded the opportunity to question
individuals serving as executioners or medical personnel, defendants have learned
facts which certainly overcome the presumption here that the DOC will properly
perform its duties.
For example, a defendant in Missouri discovered that a doctor responsible for mixing the chemicals used in executions was dyslexic and sometimes mixed smaller doses of the drugs than were called for in Missouri’s execution protocol.