The above is Jeffrey Landigran who was no doubt not a nice person. He was convicted of strangling a man named Chester Dyer in Arizona a year later during an armed burglary and was sentenced to death. He had previously escaped from prison in Oklahoma while serving a sentence for second degree murder. Now the rabbit is opposed to the death penalty and has blogged on the topic before, notably here where I wrote among other things 'like anyone who has ever had to go though the autopsy photos of murder victims, I have no illusions as to the nature of violent crime. No doubt the great majority of these guys were guilty. I am against executing the guiltiest of them'.
Landigran's execution is in the news because there may be a British dimension to it. Capital punishment for murder was abolished here in 1968. There is no serious prospect of it being brought back and is contrary to the European Convention in any event. The UK promised in 2008 to lead efforts to strengthen EU controls on death penalty and torture equipment.
Sodium thiopental is an anaesthetic which is used used to knock out the condemned man before two other drugs that kill him are administered. Amnesty International has previously documented how lethal injection executions in the United States and elsewhere have caused excruciating pain and extreme mental suffering before death, with prisoners trapped in a 'chemical straitjacket' when the cocktail of three drugs is administered.There is apparently a shortage of sodium thiopental in the USA which is interfering with execution scheduling. So where did the sodium thiopental used to execute Landrigtan last Tuesday come from? The finger of suspicion points to the UK.
Archimedes Pharma UK, based in Reading, the only British firm to make the drug, denied knowingly providing it for use prior to the lethal injection. It says in terms that it has no control over the end use. The state of Arizona will not say where their supplies came from save that they came from the UK. The use by date on California's last batch expired in September but both California and nearby Arizona have new supplies with a use-by date of 2014. California states that their supplies came 'lawfully from within the US' but the only US manufacturer, Hospira in Illinois, has said that it did not supply California with the drug.
All very fishy. No doubt states such as Arizona and California will do as they see fit. The only thing that can be done here is to see that they are not facilitated in so doing (which is probably a criminal offence under European law). Some serious tightening up would seem in order
On a more cheerful note, the list of top UK babies' names has just been published and Jack has after years and years at number one been knocked off its perch by Oliver. Strangely, its female equivalent, Olivia, tops the girls list. Here and without further comment is the top UK 100 boys and girls names. The rabbit notes with some consternation that Andrew has dropped out of the top 100 altogether.
The rabbit has previously mentioned Rand Paul, Republican US Senate candidate in Kentucky and in particular of his association with a group of physicians who hold the unusual belief that Obama won the Presidential election by mass hypnosis of the electors. Above is a clip of how his supporters dealt with a female protestor. Comment is superfluous. The rabbit also saw an amusing piece on Channel 4 News last night in which their intrepid reporter attempted to ask some questions of Christine O'Donnell. Not liking the turn the questioning was taking, her minders asked exactly who the questioner was. 'Channel 4 News, British TV' replied the reporter. At this point Christine was hustled off. The rabbit could not help noticing that she has a very big bum, a fact that had previously escaped his attention. Repeated requests for an interview met with no reply.