Thursday, January 29, 2009

Two Executions for Washington State?

Washington state is preparing for a March 13 execution of a man named Cal Coburn Brown.

Brown was convicted of aggravated first-degree murder in 1993 for carjacking a 22-year-old woman, holding her hostage in a hotel for 34 hours, and then raping, torturing, and murdering her. 

This would be a different execution from the one that was scheduled for last December and was postponed due to a stay in the court system. 

That execution, of Darold Stenson, was scheduled to take place on December 3rd and was dramatically stopped on December 2, to be delayed for at least 90 days. (The stay had something to do with the state changing processes for lethal injection without properly informing Stenson and his lawyers.) If rescheduled, it could conceivably put the execution around early March. 

Stetson's execution was to be the first in Washington state since 2001. So, after not having a state-sponsored killing for more than seven years, our state could potentially have two within the same month. 

If this does indeed transpire, it will no doubt prove an occasion for activists on both sides to stand up and shout.

Also, I'd like to repoint you to an excellent radio series our local NPR affiliate, KUOW, did on the way execution works in Washington state (both the logistics of it and how the systems in place function).