||Susan M. Recinella, Clinical Psychologist for mentally ill adults, and
Catholic Lay Minister to Families of the Executed|
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is hoping to begin executions soon based upon a new Lethal Injection
protocol which they have put out for public comment. The most obvious comment is that killing people has nothing to do with rehabilitation and,
therefore, the department should be renamed as: California Department of Corrections and Legal Killing.
Moreover, in light of Chaplain Recinella’s experiences with actual executions, the procedures reveal that the folks who prepared the new California
protocol have not been involved at the ground level in this barbaric practice. They do not comprehend the base and banal human emotions that surface
when human beings are granted the license to legally kill each other. Although he is not an expert on chemicals, it is hoped that his input from
ground-zero will wake the CDCR from their idealistic reverie.
Starting July 9, 2009 and for the ensuing seven issues, this Ezine will share with the readers Chaplain Recinella’s comments submitted to the CDCR
on their new lethal injection protocol:
Excerpted Letter of Chaplain Dale S. Recinella to the CDCR dated June 27, 2009 -- PART IV
Re: Written Public Comments regarding the Proposed Amendments to Title 15, Article 7.5, Section 3349 from a Concerned Citizen
with Extensive Experience with Lethal Injection Executions in the U.S.
The purpose of this communication is to provide you with my written public comments regarding the Proposed Amendments to Title 15,
Article 7.5, Section 3349 of the California Code of Regulations from the unique standpoint of a concerned citizen with extensive
experience with lethal injection executions in the U.S. Because some of my comments are based upon realities that might not be
obvious to those who have never been close to this process, certain comments are accompanied by a background paragraph that fills
in the context of the official comment. This is especially the case with comments which request that unaddressed areas be addressed.
I trust you will give my concerns serious consideration; I look forward to your response which should be sent to the letterhead address.
Regarding Section 3349.4.5: The provisions of this section follow a “two-strikes and your out” methodology. Repeatedly,
an option A and an option B are identified with the instruction that if option A does not work, option B is to be followed.
There is no provision for the event that option B does not work either, except to redo it.
These provisions should be modified to provide that:
(a) in the event that the Intravenous Sub-Team is not able to acquire
one or both of the pre-designated veins, someone has
the authority to
call off the execution instead of slicing the inmate to ribbons; and
(b) in the event that Option A and B do not work, someone has the
authority to call off the execution instead of just repeating the steps
until the inmate dies an agonizing and torturous death.
Background: Especially with the possibility of vein damage from personal intravenous drug use in earlier life, it is a
fairytale to assume that acquisition of pre-designated veins will occur like clockwork. Unless these provisions provide someone
with authority to shut down the execution when there is a problem acquiring one or both of the pre-designated vein sites,
CDCR will be doomed to repeat the horror stories from other states, including Florida’s botched lethal injection of Bennie
Demps in June of 2000. In that case the technicians were reported to have sliced him and butchered him, with blood pouring
on the floor, as they tried to acquire the veins.
Even when the veins have been acquired, improper insertions or other unexpected occurrences can result in the horror stories
from other states, including Florida’s botched lethal injection of Angel Diaz in December of 2006. The verbatim transcript of
my testimony concerning that botched execution (December 13, 2006), given in court, under subpoena and under oath, in State of
Florida v. Ian Deco Lightbourne (May 18, 2007) is attached as an exhibit. My statement to my wife on the phone after leaving
that botched execution is on transcript page 43: “I just watched a man be tortured to death.”
Unless these provisions provide someone with authority to shut down the execution when there is a problem, redoing the
same procedure over and over will result in a torturous death.
©2009 Dale S. Recinella
Used with permission. All rights reserved.
No further reproduction without permission.
I Was In Prison
News & Updates
This ezine is targeted for people involved in prison ministry or in stopping the death penalty, we think you will find helpful information for people who are undecided about capital punishment, for those who have never experienced the inside of a jail or prison, and for those who feel called to participate through prayer and adoration.
Your name and information will never be used or shared with anyone. We promise!
Dale S. Recinella
, Catholic Lay Chaplain, Florida Death Row and Solitary Confinement
Susan M. Recinella
, Clinical Psychologist for mentally ill adults, and
Catholic Lay Minister to Families of the Executed