A Texas man convicted of killing his parents was executed as planned Wednesday night despite a growing controversy over the drug used to carry out the punishment.
Last week, state prison officials refused a request from the compounding pharmacy that created and sold Texas the pentobarbital -- a single-dose drug used in executions -- to return the drug.
Jasper Lovoi, owner of The Woodlands Compounding Pharmacy, claims Texas authorities put him “in the middle of a firestorm” of protesters, hate calls and press requests after letting it leak that he sold eight 2.5-gram doses of pentobarbital to the state for upcoming executions. Lovoi says he had been promised anonymity by the state.
But Jason Clark, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, said the department bought the drug vials legally and won’t return them. Clark said the state has enough vials to carry out scheduled executions for the remainder of the year.
I don't understand the controversy. Do you?
Previously (and in some states, currently) execution of murderers involved hanging, firing squad, and the ever-hated Electric Chair.
[See: "The Green Mile", a Tom Hanks movie, which illustrates graphically the pain and suffering of an electrocution 'gone wrong'.]
I do agree that it's a tragedy that any government finds it necessary to execute anyone ... but in the words of somebody-or-other: "Some men just needed killing". But death by lethal injection seems relatively --- well, "benign" isn't the right word; how about "less macabre"?
Let's look at the prisoner, Michael Yowell (43):
Yowell was convicted of killing his parents, Johnny and Carol Yowell, in 1998 and setting fire to their home in Lubbock, Texas. According to court records, Yowell told authorities he shot his father and then beat, strangled and killed his mother. He then blew up the house.
Yowell’s grandmother, who lived with them, was killed though Yowell was not convicted in her death.I don't know about you, but Mr. Yowell sounds like a thoroughly Bad Man to me. Texans, you see, have this strange idea that people who will kill their family will probably not hesitate to kill anyone else. Texas wishes to discourages this kind of Bad Behavior, in the strongest possible manner.
Shot his father; that's not good.
Beat and strangled his mother; no love lost there.
Blew up his grandmother in the house; a total disregard for human life.
And Texas wanted to kill this paragon of virtue by injecting lethal drugs into his system? What's the downside here?
It turns out that the downside (other than people who are morally outraged by state executions, and I can't say I'm entirely unsympathetic to their moral position) is that ...
... the drugs were "dangerous".
Compounding pharmacies allow certified specialists to mix ingredients for medicine themselves and sell them. For example, if there is only an adult-dose of a particular drug available, compounding pharmacists can manipulate the active ingredients and change the dosage or strength.Give - me - a - break.
However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not vouch for the validity, safety or effectiveness of drugs made in compounding pharmacies.
Earlier this year, these new go-to drug dens came under scrutiny following a deadly meningitis outbreak that was linked to contaminated injections made at a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy.
Texas had the goal of killing this killer ... removing him from the gene pool ... and the issue is that the drugs used were NOT SAFE?
I blame this confusion on the authors of the article, who were Not Clear On The Concept.