Sunday, August 7, 2011

Matt Schulz - the hearing in Miami

From the testimony of :

Matt Schulz
The first defense witness presented was Matt David Schulz (―Schulz‖). By agreement of the parties he was sworn by the clerk of court for Miami- Dade County, Florida and testified by phone from Montgomery, Alabama.
Schulz testified that he is a three (3) year employee with the Federal Public Defender‘s Office in Montgomery, Alabama. On June 16, 2011, he witnessed the execution of his client, Eddie Powell, in Alabama. After visiting with Mr. Powell and his family and noting that Powell was in no visible distress, he was escorted by
the guards to a viewing room. There, he was seated, approximately 7-8 feet from Powell, who was covered with sheets except for his face and upper body and strapped down to the gurney. Schulz was facing Powell‘s left side and could see some of Powell‘s right arm also because the arms were outside of the sheets. The chaplain and warden then entered the room. The warden read the death order and asked Powell if he had any last words. The warden allowed Powell to make a last statement. The warden then walked behind Powell and made an announcement that the execution was to be carried out. The I.V. lines ran into the wall. Schulz was unable to see any activity behind that wall and unable to see when syringes were pushed. The chaplain approached Powell, spoke a few words to him, and nodded. Powell looked to the left, nodded, took a deep breath, and then put his head back down. The chaplain talked to him for 30-60 seconds. Powell lay there approximately one (1) minute then suddenly jerked his head and his upper and lower body appeared as if pressing against the restraints. Schulz believed that Powell was attempting to sit up. Powell, he said, had a look of confusion when he looked at the chaplain. Schulz asserted that Powell clenched his jaw, flexed his muscles, and his arteries bulged. His eyes rolled back in his head, he took a deep breath and closed his eyes. This lasted about one (1) minute. The guard approached and called his name (―Eddie, Eddie, Eddie‖) several times. He did not
respond. The guard did an ―eyelash check‖ to which there was no response. After a few minutes or so, he noticed that Powell‘s eyes were opened partly.
This was the first execution Schulz ever attended and it was very stressful for him.
The entire process that he observed seemed to last 20-25 minutes. He was able to see a clock directly but was not watching it. He did notice it but not until after the guard called Powell‘s name during the consciousness check.
He is not sure what the lethal injection protocol is but believes that 2500 mg. of pentobarbital is administered.1
This testimony is speculative and without more specific testimony or expert testimony it is of little value to the court in consideration of the question at hand. Even if the entire situation lasted one minute, it certainly does not establish that the Defendant suffered to establish an Eighth Amendment claim. See Baze.

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