An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.  - Gandhi

Protest and vigil for Michael Edward Hooper

Coalition will hold protest demonstration and silent vigil for death row prisoner Michael Edward Hooper on execution day

Oklahoma City – On Tuesday, August 14, 2012, Michael Edward Hooper, 39, is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection at the McAlester State Penitentiary.

Hooper was found guilty by a jury in Canadian County that recommended he receive the death penalty for the 1993 Oklahoma City killings of his ex-girlfriend and her two children. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Hooper’s convictions in 2002, but overturned his death sentences. Hooper was once again sentenced to death in 2004.

Hooper declined an opportunity last month to seek clemency from the state’s Pardon and Parole Board.

Attorneys for Hooper sued the state last month when officials said they had only one dose of a drug used in the state’s three-drug execution protocol. The complaint was amended after the state announced on July 11 it had obtained 20 more doses of pentobarbital, the pharmaceutical used in Oklahoma for capital punishment.

Criminal Appeals Unit Chief Jennifer Miller had led a year-long effort by the Attorney General’s Office and the Oklahoma Department of Corrections to locate more doses before a shortage of pentobarbital affected the agencies’ abilities to carry out capital punishment sentences by lethal injection.

Hooper, said he fears that he would be subject to cruel and unusual punishment if the dose of sedative used in executions isn’t enough to keep him from feeling pain as he is put to death.

Concerns were raised in April after an Arizona inmate shook for several seconds upon receiving a lethal dose of pentobarbital. In that case, the drug was used by itself.

The provider of the pharmaceutical is confidential under Title 22, Section 1015(B) of Oklahoma statutes, which provides that, “The identity of all persons who participate in or administer the execution process and persons who supply the drugs, medical supplies or medical equipment for the execution shall be confidential and shall not be subject to discovery in any civil or criminal proceedings.”

Last week a federal judge denied Hooper’s request to block his execution until state officials provide a backup dose of an anesthetic that is part of the state’s three-drug lethal injection protocol.

“The (Oklahoma Department of Corrections) protocol is outmoded and compared to the one-drug protocol now employed by four other states in over 20 executions, creates a risk of cruel and unusual punishment which is now unacceptable,” attorney Jim Drummond wrote in the motion.

Drummond said he is appealing to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

Hooper will be the fourth execution in Oklahoma, in 2012. All killed by legal injection, Gary Welch was executed on January 5, Shaun Thomas Stemple was executed on March 12 and Michael Selsor was executed on May 1.

Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty is asking citizens to stand with them outside the Governor’s Mansion on Tuesday, August 14, at 5:15 pm to protest this cruel and inhumane act by the Oklahoma government. Participants will transition into a silent vigil at 6 pm until they receive notice of a stay of execution, or until the execution is carried out.

“When someone is executed by the state, she or he is killed in my name,” said Margaret Cox, OK-CADP board member. “We all have a responsibility not to let that happen. This action should not go unnoticed by the people of Oklahoma.”

Barring an act of mercy and caution by Gov. Mary Fallin, Michael Edward Hooper will be executed at 6 p.m., on Tuesday, August 14, at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.

Upon Hooper’s passing, the state will issue a death certificate as it does for every person who dies in Oklahoma. For Michael Edward Hooper the cause of death will be listed as homicide, which is the deliberate and unlawful killing of one person by another.

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