Family and friends on behalf of Robert Henry, who is scheduled to be executed March 20, are calling for a stay of Henry’s execution. Citing to junk science and cruel protocols, Henry’s campaign is calling Florida’s new protocol on executions “cruel and unusual.” Henry was sentenced to death in Broward County for the 1988 deaths of Janet Cox Thermidor and Phyllis Harris.
Since Robert has been on death row, he has served as a counselor and mentor to those struggling with the addiction issues. Mr. Henry knows the horrific toll of untreated addiction – his crack-cocaine addiction led to his condemnation to death, and the death of Ms. Harris and Ms. Thermidor.
“If Henry’s execution is carried out, he will suffer excruciating pain,” said campaign spokesperson Talitha Hazelton. “This is state-sanctioned torture.Injecting a cruel cocktail into Mr. Henry is in violation of the U.S. Constitution and makes a mockery of our democratic system of justice. We cannot allow sadistic new protocols to trump Floridians’ commitment to decency and humane treatment of our fellow citizens.”
In September of 2013, Florida changed its protocol for lethal injections. Previously, the State utilized barbiturates in step one of its three-step injection process, which put inmates in a coma-like state prior to administering the second, paralyzing drug. The sources for barbiturates have been running dry, however, because of ethical concerns in the medical profession and unwanted publicity for pharmaceutical companies.
As a quick fix to the drug shortage, Florida has changed the way it does executions: the lethal cocktail now calls for Midazolam, a drug the FDA has not approved for lethal injections. Midazolam is in a class of drugs normally used to treat anxiety, such as Xanax. It is not a substitute for anesthesia and is inadequate to produce the deep, coma-like unconsciousness required before the administration of the second, paralyzing drug which shuts down the body’s functions. In fact, no studies exist at all to show the effects of Florida's megadose of this drug. As a result, lead anesthesiologists report that Midazolam’s shoddy sedative properties can result in “a sensation akin to being buried alive” for the person being executed.
The suppliers of Midazolam have asked the FL Department of Corrections to STOP its use of this drug for executions, noting the drug is not intended for that purpose.
Call and write Governor Scott and demand he stop the execution of Robert Henry, and tell him NO CRUEL COCKTAIL in my name! Governor’s office: 850-488-7146, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on Robert’s case, follow his Twitter campaign @SaveRobertHenry, visit the website at: http://nocruelcocktail.wordpress.com/ or contact the campaign at NoCruelCocktail@gmail.com or (561) 325-9317
Respect for the prisoner and for the process is what separates a state-sanctioned execution from a lynch mob. Justice requires patience. Vengeance values speed. By rushing to use an untested execution drug despite valid concerns about its safety and efficacy, Florida is willfully flouting this process.
We demand you stop the execution of Robert Henry!