Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Robert Leroy Bryan - Oklahoma

The State of Oklahoma executed Leroy Bryan last night after the US Supreme Court denied his last minute appeal. There was little question that Bryan committed the crimes for which he was being executed. However, there were questions as to the appropriateness of his execution (shouldn't there always be those questions?). To his family, his execution was both troubling and a gift. Bryan suffered from diabetes and had lost one leg and control of his bodily functions. However, there was also evidence that Bryan did not understand the meaning of his execution and what it meant to die by lethal injection. His last minute appeal to the Supreme Court asserted his civil rights were being violated because he was not competent to be executed. The Supreme Court took all of 80 minutes to decide whether to accept Bryan's case. Perhaps I am a cynic, but I somehow doubt you can determine a person's competency to understand their own execution in an 80 minute review of a legal file. Then again, I'm not on the Supreme Court. If I were, things would be different...

Federal court turns down death row inmate's final appeal

1 comment:

ldyshovelrider said...

I moved away from Oklahoma in the early 80's and found out about Mr Bryan's case from my mother reading the paper. Mr Bryan was my science teacher at Erick High School and to this day was one of my favorite teachers. He was strict, but kind so I could not believe he did this. I ran into him occansionaly in OKC before I moved and could tell something was not right with him mentally. I think the state of Oklahoma made a tremendos error in executing him, as I do not think he understood what he did wrong. Vicki Yandell, Moore, Oklahoma.