Thursday, October 1, 2015


That's how long death row  inmate Richard Glossip has left, if the state of Oklahoma has anything to say about it. I heard about this case having my morning coffee, listening to Amy Goodman on DEMOCRACY NOW. It's a morning ritual- Amy and me and the radio. There's no shortage of injustice in Amy's world, so most days I just let it flow over me without too my much anger or indignation, take a crap and get on with my day. But after a couple of shows in a row, following the execution countdown, yesterday the plungers were set to come down, ending Mr. Glossip's life. Politically sanctioned, institutional murder is the order of the day... esp. in states like Texas and Oklahoma. I don't know why but this was getting to me. They had my attention.
    As I painted my kitchen I kept an eye on the clock. I figured the Okies were about an hour or two later than EST. At 3pm my time I checked the computer. The countdown continued. Everything I'd read or heard about this case pointed toward's the state executing an innocent man. The old saw that pointed to the death penalty being a deterrent to crime pointed a crooked finger in another direction. The man who all concerned agreed did the actual killing of a motel owner, one Justin Sneed, implicated Richard Glossip in the crime, shifting the "special circumstances" to his friend and boss Richard, avoiding the death penalty, landing his ass in a medium security lock up for life. Once the wheels were set in motion Glossip's fate seems to have been sealed. Only a Russian novelist could come up with this plot line.
   So in between coats of paint, clock watching and further reading of Glossip's account (www I investigated what exact drugs the state uses to end life. Here they are: pentobarbitol, pavulon (or midazolam) and as the heart stopper- Potassium Cloride. The first two drugs are hard to come across, but the 3rd asskicker is literally like buying table salt. So why it was yesterday that Potassium Acetate (a food additive) replaced the Potassium Cloride is anybody's guess. Minutes before Richard Glossip was to be executed the Gov. of Oklahoma issued a 37 day stay, not to hear new evidence, but supposedly to get the 3 drug cocktail correct. Coincidently Glossip's name is on a Supreme court decision questioning the use of Midazolam in the lethal injections stew. You'd think with only 3 drugs to worry about it would be a no-brainer.
   The "cruel and unusual" aspects of this case seem endless. Once more Glossip was brought within minutes of death, only to be reprieved and led back to his cell. Oh, did I say I'm not completely against the death penalty. Putting myself in the shoes of the victim's family, I might very well think Richard Glossip deserves to die. But then again.....

   Richard Glossip has 37 days left. Today was day one.      


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