Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Georgia Executes Mark McClain: Activists, Communists Protest 'Freakish' System of 'Arbitrary' Punishment

Mark McClain, the so-called "Pizza Store Killer," was put to death by lethal injection Tuesday evening. The Georgia Department of Corrections issued a pre-execution press release, "McClain Execution Media Advisory." And the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a report, "State Executes Pizza Store Killer":

Condemned inmate Mark McClain was killed by lethal injection at 7:24 p.m. Tuesday in Jackson.

He had no visitors Tuesday, though a Department of Corrections spokeswoman said he talked to two relatives by phone. McClain, 42, declined to eat his final meal and refused a sedative offered one hour before his execution. At around 6:15 he learned from his attorneys that the U.S. Supreme Court had denied a motion to stay, just as the Georgia Supreme Court had ruled earlier in the day.

McClain did not issue a final statement. When asked if he wanted a prayer said for him, he replied, "No, I'm fine." He lay expressionless and made no eye contact with the attorneys, prison officials and members of the media who witnessed his execution. As his death drew near McClain's ruddy complexion turned pale. His body lunged forward slightly as the potassium chloride raced through his veins, but otherwise his passing was quiet.

His execution, unlike most, kept to schedule.

There were no relatives present, which is not uncommon, according to Department of Corrections spokeswoman Joan Heath.

McClain was sentenced to death by a Richmond County jury for the 1994 murder of Kevin Brown, 28. The Domino's Pizza store manager was shot once in the chest for the $130 in his till.

The Journal-Constitution also published a report critical of Georgia's death penalty system, "Death Sentence for Killer 'Freakish'":

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution examined the facts and circumstances behind 2,328 murder convictions in Georgia from 1995 through 2004. In a series published in 2007, the AJC found Georgia law has fallen short of ensuring a predictable and even-handed application of the death penalty. Instead, death sentences were being arbitrarily imposed, the investigation found.

The main reason was the way state prosecutors handled armed-robbery murder, one of Georgia’s most prevalent capital crimes.

In 1995, McClain’s case proved remarkable because it was the only one of its kind. Over the decade studied, seven other men were sentenced to Death Row for armed-robbery murder. Another 432 got life in prison.

These armed-robbery murders, like McClain’s, did not involve torture, maiming, murder-for-hire or police killing.

The newspaper is attacking the death penalty as unconstitutional as per Furman v. Georgia (1972).

The Augusta Chronicle used McCain's execution as an opportunity to repudiate the system, "
Death Penalty Opponents Say Practice a Failure, Waste of Money":

The same day convicted Richmond County killer Mark McClain was executed at a Georgia prison, one of the nation’s leading non-profit death penalty research organizations released a harsh assessment of the practice.

A report by the non-profit Death Penalty Information Center released Tuesday said state executions are wasting millions of dollars that could be funneled to other anti-crime efforts, and that law enforcement officials increasingly view it as a low priority for reducing actual crimes.
The Augusta Chronicle piece never mentions the circumstance of McClain's crime. The story just promotes the NCADP agenda. The organization boasts a large affiliate network of organizations with deep ties to hard left's "struggle" to end the death penalty. The NCADP's former chair is Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking. Prejean is a longtime peace activist with ties to hardline antiwar groups and communist organizations. Prejean is founder of the Moratorium Campaign. The outfit seeks to

Affiliates of the Moratorium Campaign includes the neo-communist
Campaign to End the Death Penalty (see its pamphlett, "Five Reasons to Oppose the Death Penalty"). Marlene Martin, a CEDP board member, published "Death Penalty in Retreat" at International Socialist Review in 2007. Another affiliate of Sister Prejean's Moratorium Campaign is Death Penalty Focus, a Marxist international solidarity group in California.

Adam Folk, the reporter for the Atlanta Chronicle, who was an official witness to McClain's execution, has a follow-up report, "
Georgia's Execution Procedure Appears Cold, Precise and Final":
As the designated monitor, I was the lone media representative tasked with watching nurses prepare Mr. McClain for his death.

I was inches away from the glass.

When the door opened, the warden entered first, then the guards, then Mr. McClain. He barely glanced our way as he lay down on the table and was strapped into place. His expression never changed.

We were told he had no visitors before the execution. Mr. McClain’s parents are dead and so are the parents of the victim, Kevin Brown. Instead, he had a room filled with more than 20 people who were there because of work or requirement to watch him die.

When he was prepared, they brought in the other reporters, along with the sheriff's investigator who put him in jail and an attorney from Augusta.

With no noise, we watched as the drugs were automatically pumped into his veins -- as his normally ruddy complexion flushed red.

We waited.

His chest heaved violently for about a minute then stopped.

His face turned purple. Then gray. Then white.

A housefly danced upon the white sheet that covered Mr. McClain’s legs. It was the only movement in the room.

Finally, a pair of doctors lifted his lifeless eyelids with their fingers and listened to make sure there was no heartbeat.

The process was complete and Mr. McClain was dead.

We left the room quickly and I didn't look back.
See also, the hardline Atlanta Progressive News, "Vigils Across Georgia to Protest McClain's Execution."


Dave said...

I have to admit that there have been times I have questioned the death penalty.

No, not out of sympathy for the guilty murderous bastard convicted, but for the expense incurred by the seemingly interminable appeals process, which is always borne by the taxpayers.

But then my libertarianism kicks in, and I remember that justice is defined as when people get what they deserve.

However, as such, I think lethal injection should be eliminated in favor of convicted murderers being disposed of the exact same way they offed their victims.

Now THAT would be a true deterrent. :-)

As for the Al-Jazeera Urinal Constipation (AJC), that reprehensible rag of a publication here in Atlanta has but two uses:

1) Birdcage liner

2) Fuel for my two Weber Rapidfire chimney starters.

-And perhaps as a substitute for toilet paper should the enviro-kooks have their way.


Baader said...

Wouldn't it be more of a punishment to have someone spend the rest of their life incarcerated rather than have them be put out of their misery?

Dennis said...

I now think that the death penalty should be utilized very carefully and only in cases where we are extremely sure that the person is really guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt, person says he is guilty and feels no remorse, and it will remove the chance that a sociopath will ever be foisted upon the public at large.
The primary reason for my change is I no longer trust the legal system in this country and/or anywhere else for that matter. It just makes too many mistake through the sins of commission and omission. Here I am including lawyers, judges and police departments.
There is hardly a day that goes by where we do not find out that someone, or a group of people, are incarcerated for crimes they did not commit.

jdgjtr said...

I also believe that the death penalty should be enforced only when there is 100% beyond a shadow of doubt evidence of guilt. I believe that those who oppose the death penalty should put their money where their mouths are. They should fund the appeals, not the taxpayers. I would agree to life in prison, except the prisoners get free medical/dental care and housing for the rest of their lives. Why should taxpayers, including the survivors of the victims have to pay for that? Yes, it isn't fair; the murderers live and as long as they live, they are still a danger to society and society has a right to protect itself from predators.

JBW said...

Good God, Hell must have just frozen over because Dennis wrote something I completely agree with, although I suppose even a stopped clock is right twice a day. I'm curious to read what you'll write 12 hours hence.

Dennis said...


Its good to hear that you admit to being like a stopped clock. That was my impression of you all the time. Now if you can actually stop sounding the same time over and over again we might have progress.

JBW said...

Ho ho, as dazzling a wit as ever Dennis and as I suspected, considerably less interesting half a day into the future. Better luck next time.