Friday, August 01, 2008

What's up with Mike?

Mike is one of these rare abolitionists who connects need to abolish the death penalty with working across the human rights spectrum.

1 comment:

Connie L. Nash said...

Note that the site Prevention not Punishment (see right column and click) featured this recent item. This relates to Mike Farrell's comments just below because Gitmo detainees, the first being tried currently largely in secret, has been forcibly medicated and/or drugged as have many other such detainnees in US connected black sites across the world...probably thousands arrested and sent elsewhere away from home and advocacy of any kind in many cases. See Amnesty I new release on Salim Hamdan...although it remains to be proven whether info claimed--yet procured under torture interrogations will turn out to be actual or falsified (if we will ever know) --that these interrogations are now being allowed by our US courts is setting a very alarming precedent for future military trials and potential federal executions.

From Houle's site Prevention not Punishment

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that two death row inmates with mental illness can be forcibly medicated in order to render them competent to continue their appeals and face execution.

Texas courts have addressed this issue in the case of death row inmate Steven Staley, who has been diagnosed with severe paranoid schizophrenia and believes that he is being poisoned by medication. A state district judge ordered the state to forcibly give Staley anti-psychotic drugs. Last fall, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that it did not have jurisdiction to rule on whether this constituted cruel and unusual punishment and and took no action on the case. As far as I am aware, Staley remains in prison and on medication.

Here's the story from the Philadelphia Inquirer ("PA high court OKs forced drugging of mentally ill death-row inmates," July 23, 2008):