Discussion:
death penalty news----ALABAMA
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Rick Halperin
2017-06-08 18:30:05 UTC
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June 8



ALABAMA----impending execution

Alabama Supreme Court denies stay: Execution of Robert Bryant Melson


Tonight Alabama Death Row inmate Robert Bryant Melson is set to die by lethal
injection for the 1994 slayings of three fast foot restaurant workers in
Gadsden. It would be the second execution for Alabama in two weeks.

Meanwhile, Melson -- convicted of numerous counts of capital murder, attempted
murder, and robbery in the shooting at Popeye's -- is awaiting action by
federal and state appeal courts on his requests to stay the execution set for 6
p.m. at Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore.

Melson was granted a temporary stay last week, but the Supreme Court of the
United States vacated the stay Tuesday night.

The stay of the execution was lifted in an order issued by Associate Justice
Clarence Thomas. Three of the nine Supreme Court associate justices-- Ruth
Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor-- said they did not want to
vacate the stay of execution, according to the order.

Wednesday morning, John Palombi and Leslie Smith with the Federal Defenders for
the Middle District of Alabama filed a motion to the 11th Circuit Court of
Appeals and one to the Alabama Supreme Court for stays.

In the state supreme court motion, Melson's attorneys say the federal courts
have yet to rule on whether Alabama's method of execution is unconstitutional
and violates the eighth amendment. The lawyers' filing to the 11th Circuit
states that Melson has a likelihood of winning an appeal on his challenge to
midazolam, the first drug in the lethal three-drug method. Melson's attorneys
asked the 11th Circuit to stay the execution pending the results of Melson's
challenge.

The challenge, which lists four other inmates as petitioners, concentrates on
midazolam, the first drug in the execution cocktail. Melson and the other
inmates claim the drug does not completely sedate a person so that they cannot
feel the pain of the second and third drugs in the cocktail, which stop the
heart and breathing.

In the state supreme court motion, Melson's attorneys say the federal courts
have yet to rule on whether Alabama's method of execution is unconstitutional
and violates the eighth amendment.

A lower court had dismissed the challenge, but Melson's attorneys appealed to
the 11th Circuit and asked for a temporary stay last week. That temporary stay
was granted last Friday before being struck down Tuesday by SCOTUS.

On April 15, 1994, Melson and Cuhuatemoc Peraita robbed the Gadsden Popeyes
Chicken and Biscuits restaurant, where had previously worked. After taking
approximately $2,100, the men herded the four Popeye's employees into the
store's freezer. Moments later, survivor Bryant Archer said, the freezer door
opened and Melson began firing. Nathaniel Baker, 17; Tamika Collins, 18; and
Darrell Collier, 23, were all fatally shot in the freezer; Archer was shot five
times, but was able to stand up, walk to the office, and call police.

When officers arrived, Archer told police one of the attackers was Peraita.
Archer also said Peraita drove a black Monte Carlo, so police issued a lookout
bulletin for the vehicle. Melson and Peraita were arrested about an hour later.

After his conviction in 1996, Melson has been on death row at Holman
Correctional Facility in Atmore. Peraita was originally sentenced to life in
prison, but moved to death row in 2001 after fatally stabbing another Holman
inmate.

Robert Melson is set to be executed Thursday for his role in the Popeye's
shooting of 1994, which left three people dead. Bryant Archer, the surviving
victim, speaks out to AL.com about the shooting and his life now.

According to a spokesperson for Gov. Kay Ivey on Wednesday, the governor
received a request for clemency from Melson.

Alabama has already carried out three executions using the three-drug protocol
that Melson is challenging, including the May 25 execution of Tommy Arthur in
which the 11th Circuit denied a stay. Two other Alabama inmates who were
executed -- Ronald Bert Smith and Christopher Brooks -- also were co-plaintiffs
in the case with Melson.

Court documents filed in Melson's case argue the state's switch to midazolam
from pentobarbital during executions has caused a "method of execution that has
failed to work properly in four states, including Alabama."

During Smith's Dec. 8 execution, he heaved, coughed and gasped for breath for
about 13 minutes after apparently being administered midazolam. At times his
left eye also appeared to be slightly open. He underwent two consciousness
tests to make sure he couldn't feel pain before the execution continued.
Smith's attorneys called it "botched," but Alabama Prison Commissioner Jeff
Dunn said Smith's execution went as outlined in the prison system's execution
protocol.

Archer will not attend the execution, he said, because of a previously planned
vacation with his wife and children.

"That's another way God said, 'Hey, get out of town,' " he said. "[Melson] has
to have to live every day with knowing what he did ... 23 hours a day in a
cell. That's his punishment."

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey as of Wednesday had responded to a request by Melson for
clemency.

(source: al.com)
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Rick Halperin
2017-06-09 00:27:57 UTC
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June 8



ALBAMA:

Temporary stay granted for death row inmate Robert Melson


The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily halted the death of an Alabama inmate as
it reviews his request to block his execution over questions regarding a
sedative’s effectiveness.

Justices issued the temporary stay Thursday evening about 15 minutes before
46-year-old Robert Bryant Melson was scheduled to be executed by lethal
injection.

Melson was convicted of killing three people during a 1994 robbery of a fast
food restaurant.

Melson’s attorneys argued that Alabama plans to use an ineffective sedative
that will not render Melson unconscious before other drugs stop his lungs and
heart. They cited the December execution in which an Alabama man coughed and
heaved for 13 minutes.

His attorneys argued the execution showed “the horrific results of using
midazolam in a way it was never intended _ as an anesthetic.”

The Alabama attorney general’s office had asked for the execution to proceed
arguing the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld midazolam’s use and allowed other
executions to proceed using it. Alabama has executed three inmates using
midazolam.

(source: Associated Press)
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Rick Halperin
2017-06-09 04:36:44 UTC
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Raw Message
June 8




ALABAMA----execution

Robert Bryant Melson executed for 1994 triple slaying

most recent mugshot from the ADOC

Tonight Alabama death row inmate Robert Bryant Melson was executed by lethal
injection for the 1994 slayings of 3 fast food restaurant workers in Gadsden.
It was the 2nd execution for Alabama in 2 weeks.

The execution of Melson -- convicted of numerous counts of capital murder,
attempted murder, and robbery in the shooting at Popeye's -- was delayed by
federal and state appeal courts on his requests for a stay. The execution was
set for 6 p.m. at Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, but did not begin
until 9:55 p.m.

Commissioner Jeff Dunn made a statement at the media center following the
execution. He read a statement from Tamika Collins' family, part of which said,
"[Melson] feels that he should not suffer a little pain... what does he think
those three people felt?... I see no feeling for anyone but himself."

A cousin of Tamika Collins also wrote a statement. It said, "The day has
finally arrived... it does not change the acts he so violently carried out."
The cousin, whose name was not given, also said of Collins' late father, "This
was a day he waited for."

Collins mother and two sisters witnessed the execution.

No family members of Melson were present.

Dunn said he was not aware of any other executions planned, but the Department
of Corrections has supplies of the lethal drugs if necessary.

Melson was officially pronounced dead at 10:27 p.m. When asked if he had any
last words, Melson shook his head "no." His hands were shaking before the
execution began at approximately 9:59 p.m.

For approximately 7 minutes, Melson appeared to have slightly labored
breathing. His breathing then slowed, and he did not respond to a consciousness
check by a corrections officer before the 2nd 2 drugs in the 3-drug execution
method-- which stop the heart and breathing-- were administered.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall released the following statement
Thursday night after Melson's execution: "Robert Melson's decades-long
avoidance of justice is over. For 23 years, the families of the three young
people whose lives he took, as well as a survivor, have waited for closure and
healing. That process can finally begin tonight."

Melson becomes the 2nd condemned inmate to be put to death this year in
Alabama and the 60th overall since the state resumed capital punishment in
1983.

Melson becomes the 13th condemned inmate to be put to death this year in the
USA and the 1455th overall since the nation resumed executions on
January 17, 1977.

(sources: al.com & Rick Halperin)
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