Florida State turns condemend man William Happ into a lab rat
IN 1986, William Happ raped and murdered Angela Crowley, 21, in a parking lot. He tossed her body in a canal. Three years later he was sentenced to die.
We know he was guilty, because Happ confessed on all on his death bed, stretched out on the executer’s gurney. He confessed with some eloquence:
“For 27 years, the horrible murder of Angela Crowley has been clouded by circumstantial evidence and uncertainty. For the sake of her family, loved ones and all concerned, it is to my agonizing shame that I must confess to this terrible crime. I wish to offer my most sincere and heartfelt apologies not only to those concerned for Angela Crowley but also to those I deceived and allowed to believe in my innocence”.
There would be no clemency. Florida state would have justice. And to administer it there was a new untried lethal chemical mix: midazolam hydrochloride. Happ would be the lab rat to test its effectiveness.
It took 15 minutes for Happ to die.
The officials thought he was dead. Then he began to rock back and forth.
He died. Of course, he died. But it took some time. But was this justice? The condemned prisoner facing the axe would says “Just make the blade sharp and the swing true”.
Crowley’s brother Chris reacted:
“The apology, for what it’s worth, I personally think that’s more for himself than anything…He needs to ask someone a lot more important than me for forgiveness…
“I think it’s therapeutic for all of us in a way”.
Was God there?
Happ was calm Tuesday when he met with two spiritual advisers, including a Roman Catholic priest who administered last rites, according to Department of Corrections spokeswoman Jessica Cary. For his last meal, Happ had a 12-ounce box of assorted chocolates and 1 1/2 quarts of German chocolate ice cream.
Is that inhumane? The new drug might be. But why use it?
Florida, among other states, has long used the barbiturate pentobarbital in executions. But after a Danish company refused to keep selling it to the U.S., states have gotten desperate for alternatives.
What is Midazolam hydrochloride (Mid-az-oh-lam hi-droh-clor-ride). The NHS administers doses of it in sedation and anaesthesia.
Midazolam hydrochloride is used as a sedative during surgery or other small procedures. It can also be used during general anaesthesia in combination with other medicines.
The Sun Sentinel has more:
Florida has altered its drug combination because pentobarbital sodium manufacturers have balked at its use in executions and have prohibited its sale for that purpose. The limited supply the state has on hand will expire at the end of November.
Death-penalty opponents say that if the midazolam fails to work properly, it would make the next two steps in the lethal injection process, paralysis and cardiac arrest, inhumanely painful.
“Hopefully, it’s not a disaster,” Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center in Washington, D.C., said. “That’s not how we treat humans, even when they’ve commited crimes, we don’t submit them to medical experiments.”
The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits the federal government from imposing cruel and unusual punishment for federal crimes. The amendment states, “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted.”
Was this experiment cruel and unusual..?