Sunday, August 7, 2011

John Harper - the hearing in Miami
 From the testimony in Miami Court of :

John Harper
On July 28, 2011, the State presented witness John Harper, who being sworn by the Clerk of Court, stated the following:
He is a 23 year employee of the Georgia Department of Corrections ("GDC"). He has attended all 28 lethal injections in Georgia as part of his duties.
He witnessed the June 23, 2011 execution of Roy Blankenship at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, Georgia. He was in the
mechanical room which is physically behind the execution chamber during the execution. That area is separated from the execution chamber by a one-way mirror and the gurney on which Blankenship lay restrained is 86 inches from where Harper was located in the mechanical room. His view was mostly unobstructed; however, people did walk in front of him. He could see Blankenship‘s left side profile. Blankenship had an intravenous line into each of his arms. He saw Blankenship look around and look at his left arm about five (5) seconds after the start of the first syringe. However, the pentobarbital was first administered to Blankenship‘s right arm. He heard Blankenship make a ―grunt‖ sound. Harper knew when the drugs were administered because he was given a signal and he was keeping a time log. About ten (10) seconds passed between the time the syringe was pushed and when Blankenship appeared to be unconscious. There was no flailing or thrashing. After the pentobarbital was administered a consciousness check was performed and Blankenship did not respond.
Of all the witnesses on the issue of the Blankenship execution, Harper is the most credible on this topic. He actually could hear and could see the pushing of the syringes and was keeping a time log. His testimony is in keeping, ironically, with the acceptable parameters testified to by Dr. Waisel. Waisel stated that if the pentobarbital were to work properly that it would take effect within fifteen (15)
seconds. That it did, according to the only witness able to testify with any degree of certainty as to the timing of the administration of the drugs and rendering of unconsciousness.

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