Another Execution Averted — For Now

Updating an earlier item, Cal Coburn Brown, 50, was due to be executed early this morning at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla.

But he wasn’t. Why? The Washington State Supreme Court issued a stay about nine hours before he was due to die by lethal injection.

His lawyers’ arguments were similar to those in two other death penalty cases in the state: that lethal injection constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. How far such an argument goes remains to be seen. But it looks like we won’t know anything until May, when a Thurston County judge weighs in on the topic.

20 thoughts on “Another Execution Averted — For Now

  1. My four-legged family members were humanely put to sleep by lethal injection given by their veterinarian when the time came.
    At no time was distress shown, only a calm and peaceful passing. The only stress shown was by their family.

    “… in the state: that lethal injection constitutes cruel and unusual punishment..”

    What is cruel about a peaceful passing?
    What is ‘unusual punishment’ about a practice that veterinarians use to put beloved four legged family members to sleep?!
    Have vets been hurting our pets, not helping them to a peaceful end?

    If the gentle, easy and humane lethal injection is too cruel for these folks .. what IS acceptable to them?
    Sharon O’Hara

  2. It is such a shame that Criminals have more rights than the normal person. He didn’t give the girl that he raped and killed a chance at life, so why should we alot him another chance at life?? I say, lets start by castrating him without anesthesia, and then, start cutting off body parts, and finally execute him. Let him see how torture feels for himself. I am tired of our elected officials allowing the criminals to have more a say than the victims and or their families that are left behind!

  3. The victim of this “person” so concerned with being treated “cruel” was not given that consideration when he brutally murdered her. Shame on the State of Washington for again putting the needs of a convicted muderer over the justice of his victims.

  4. well, if we all want to murder people, can we at least do it in the middle of town square? Just like they did in the Medieval days. Hey, can we bring back witch burning too?

    Civilized nations do not support murder.

  5. Craig P.

    I would love to see this man hanging in Town Square. As far being civilized, let’s see how civilized you are if someone ever spends 36 hours torturing to death one of your loved ones…

  6. Give the poor guy a 2nd chance…..what the hell, he only murdered one woman, (that we know of), and raped another, (that we know of), he led the police to the body of the murder victim….police must’a coerced him and probably didn’t give him an opportunity to “consult with counsel”…..who would have said, ” Are U crazy? Don’t say another word to these guys”

  7. Craig,
    You have GOT to be kidding. He is not innocent. He brutally tortured his INNOCENT victim…

    I have an idea, why don’t YOU take him into your home, feed and cloth him so WE don’t have to carry the tax burden of one more poor excuse for a human being. And while your at it, build a big huge electrified barbed wire fence around your compound so he can’t get out.

    If there were any question that this guy was innocent, I would say no way…but he isn’t. Maybe we SHOULD burn him at the stake. At least it’s a death he truely deserves.

  8. I never said he was innocent. I don’t believe our government should be murdering people.

    Besides, if you had half an idea of what you are talking about, you would know it is more expensive to execute a prisoner than to harbor him for life. Read the facts.

    The States left that still murder are now looking into making State sponsored murder illegal, for cost savings to the respective state.

    What other “civilized” nations still use capitol punishment? Not many. Most are evolving past the brutality that has hindered mankind since the dawn of time.

  9. Craig,

    The reason it’s more expensive now is the expenses involved with all of the unnecessary and regressive appeals death row inmates are given at tax-payers expense. Your “facts” are skewed by the very system of appeals, stays, and hopes for pardons that keep these people in the court systems far longer than is accepted for those appealing non-lethal prison terms.

    What is your definition of civilized? I can’t rationally see the need for permanent incarceration of anyone. If a person isn’t able to live in a society of people because they represent a mortal danger to everyone around them, then why are we keeping them around? What possible reason is there for us to support this person for the rest of their life? However, if we are to rise above revenge, then what is the solution? Incarceration and work, stop all the privileges in prisons. These people have proven they don’t want them or they wouldn’t be committing the atrocious acts against society.

    As for your last statement that societies are evolving past the brutality that has hindered mankind since the dawn of time. Good luck with that, just because a group of people wish for others to stop killing each doesn’t show evolution. People kill each other for any reason and many times for no reason. It’s wishful thinking that the death penalty acts as a retardant to brutality, just as it’s wishful thinking that getting rid of the death penalty is a sign of people being less brutal to one another.

  10. why is it then that countries with no capital punishment have significantly lower murder rates? Murder and violence breed murder and violence.

  11. Should this monster recieve the mercy he wouldn’t give his victim? Well….yes. Society is supposed to be better than a scumbag murderer. The State should not be in the business it outlaws the individual to take part in. Killing with intent is murder, no matter the semantics.

    Revenge is not justice, despite the enormous pain this family has to endure. Our hearts should be with them, but calls to “hang him in the town square” or “cut off body parts one by one” are unhelpful and ridiculous.

    Is it obvious I’m against the death penalty? I have religious reasons, but my major objection is that we seem unable to level the death penalty fairly and consistently. Cal Coburn faces execution for his horrific crime, while Gary Ridgway, who is (possibly)responsible for over 100 deaths is setenced to life imprisonment.

    I believe Mr. Coburn is a monster and a sick individual that we must keep isolated from the rest of society. Not coddled. Not sent away to a comfortable life of TV watching and loafing. His living out the rest of his years paying for his crime should be made difficult and remind him every day of the crimes he has committed. I do, however, believe that he be given a chance to become penitent. That should be his only mercy.

  12. Craig,

    At least give some links to support your theory a quick 10 minute search on Google showed me no viable support for your suggestion that countries without capital punishment have lower murder rates. Please don’t give me numbers from amnesty international as those would be obviously biased.

    Thanks for playing the debate game.

  13. So torturing Mr. Coburn psychologically is okay, but not physically? This is supposing that someone capable of planning a kidnapping, the repeatedly torturing and raping the victim before killing her is able to be psychologically tortured by having to contemplate his acts and their consequences. Also the argument on Ridgeway is disingenuous, as the victims families begged prosecutors to give this man his desire to live if he would only tell them if/when/where he killed their family members.

  14. Why let the guy appeal after how many years? Put the guy to sleep… What’s the difference between a lethal injection and an insulin injection? I have never had any cruel or unjust punishment injecting myself with insulin everyday!!!

  15. Sharon,

    The drugs used to put animals to sleep were chosen by veterinarians who wanted to minimize suffering. The drugs used to kill prisoners were chosen by politicians who didn’t know what they were doing. The drugs used are different and the situations aren’t really comparable.

  16. Drekab,
    Thank you. It is monstrous to imagine that any politician would consider themselves medically capable of selecting drugs to kill.

    Human or animal, the same drugs should be used in the most humane way possible.
    A main purpose of capital punishment is to ensure that prisoner will never again, for any reason, be set free to harm another innocent person/s.

    As a society we must see that the prisoner dies with the least discomfort possible. To do less puts us at the same level as a vindictive murderer
    In my opinion… Sharon O’Hara

  17. Circular reasoning…..first we incur 5 million dollars per convicted murderer in perpetual appeals, …. Then when all else fails we whine that it costs too much to have capital punishment…..the criminal justice system in every state is feather bedded by the phony “lawyer” legislators and phony “lawyer” “Honorable” (?) Judges…..their kids are lawyers and their wives are lawyers…..they’ve built into the system all kinds of required hearings and “back doors” to manipulate the system…..the whole system is a “cash cow” and it has not damn thing to do with civil rights

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