Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Different ways to die

If Tookie goes, this is what will happen:

If the execution goes through as scheduled, Stanley Tookie Williams will arise this morning to find that the entire Death Row of 648 condemned prisoners, and every other maximum security cell block, has been on tight lockdown since 12:01 a.m. He will be allowed to spend his last day meeting in the prison visiting room with friends and relatives until 6 p.m., when he will be moved to a special death watch cell next to the execution chamber. There, three guards will watch him constantly through the rest of the evening, as he is offered a last meal and can watch television, play the radio or read. The only visitors he will be allowed are a spiritual adviser and the warden. *** At 11:30 p.m., Williams will be given a new pair of denim jeans and a new blue work shirt to wear. *** Space is tight in the 7.5-foot-wide, octagonal chamber, which was designed for two lethal gas chairs but has been nearly filled with a lethal injection gurney since William Bonin became the first California prisoner executed by injection on Feb. 24, 1996. Williams is a bulky man, so there will undoubtedly be slight jostling as he is laid upon the cross-shaped gurney, and his arms and legs are strapped down. The guards will take about five minutes to secure him, and then they leave. One medic and an assistant then come in and attach a cardiac monitor, plus needles into two veins, usually one in each arm. This takes about five minutes -- unless there are difficulties, such as with Donald Beardslee on Jan. 19 this year. In that execution, the medic had trouble finding a good second vein, and dragged through a tense 11 minutes before finally seating the needle. *** The first plunger will administer 5 grams of sodium pentothal to put him to sleep. The lines will be flushed with saline solution, and the second plunger will inject 50 cc of pancuronium bromide to stop his breathing. The lines will be flushed again, and the third plunger will send in 50cc of potassium chloride to stop his heart.
Let's contrast that with how 26 year old Albert Lewis Owens died:
As Darryl and Sims walked to the counter area to take money from the register, Williams walked behind Owens and told him “shut up and keep walking.” (TT 2154). While pointing a shotgun at Owens’ back, Williams directed him to a back storage room. (TT 2154). Once inside the storage room, Williams, at gunpoint, ordered Owens to “lay down, mother fucker.” (TT 2160). Williams then chambered a round into the shotgun. (TT 2162). Williams then fired the round into the security monitor. (TT 2156-2157, 2162). Williams then chambered a second round and fired the round into Owens’ back as he lay face down on the floor of the storage room. Williams then chambered a third round and fired again into Owens’ back. (TT 2162). *** After Williams murdered Owens, he, Darryl, Coward and Sims fled in the two cars and returned home to Los Angeles. The robbery netted Williams and his associates approximately $120.00. (TT 2280). Once back in Los Angeles, Williams asked if anyone wanted to get something to eat. (TT 2178). When Sims asked Williams why he shot Owens, Williams said he “didn’t want to leave any witnesses.” Williams also said he killed Owens “because he was white and he was killing all white people.” (TT 2189, 2193). Later that same day, Williams bragged to his brother Wayne about killing Owens. Williams said, “you should have heard the way he sounded when I shot him.” Williams then made gurgling or growling noises and laughed hysterically about Owens’ death. (TT 2195-2197). [Emphasis mine.]
Keep that in mind as the clemency hearing progresses.