Lawyer for Houston serial killer Danny Bible says he’s “too sick” to execute

danny bible

Rapist and murderer Danny Bible

Firing squad works for me.

From Houston Chronicle: Lawyers for Houston-area serial killer Danny Bible filed a civil rights suit Friday alleging the aging death row inmate is in such poor health that any attempts to execute him will end in a gruesome, botched procedure.

The so-called “ice pick killer” has Parkinson’s, bad veins and a slew of other medical conditions that raise the possibility of a prolonged and painful lethal injection process his lawyers argue could violate the 8th Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

The 66-year-old is scheduled to die on June 27.

“Texas will almost certainly join Alabama and Ohio and add itself to the unconscionable list of botched executions in America,” his attorney Jeremy Schepers told the Chronicle.

“Mr. Bible is an elderly, frail man who has been confined to a wheelchair for the last 15 years and his health is rapidly deteriorating,” he continued. “Recent medical evaluations confirm that his veins are inaccessible and unsuitable for placing an IV. Any attempts to carry out the execution will amount to torture, cause excruciating pain, and violate his constitutional rights.”

Bible’s bid for reprieve comes months after a high-profile botch that forced officials in Alabama to call off the execution of Doyle Hamm, a 61-year-old death row prisoner with lymphoma. In February, a lethal injection team there spent hours poking the condemned killer’s arms, legs and groin to find a usable vein before ultimately giving up as the midnight deadline approached.

Previously, Ohio saw similarly botched procedures in the attempted execution of Romell Broom in 2009 and Alva Campbell in 2017. Schepers writes that Bible is in worse health than Hamm, Campbell or Broom.

The Texas lethal injection preparation – a part of the process media and witnesses are not permitted to observe – involves inserting two IV lines, while the prisoner is strapped to a gurney.

But lying down causes Bible shortness of breath, and his lawyers argue that he would “likely be choking and gasping for air” during attempts to hook up IVs that may be “futile” anyway.

Bible’s legal claim, which lays out a “galaxy of medical issues” in detail over the course of 90 pages, names Texas Department of Criminal Justice officials and “anonymous execution team members” among its numerous defendants.

This isn’t the first time a Texas death row prisoner has fought his sentence by questioning the lethal injection process. Thomas “Bart” Whitaker – a Fort Bend man eventually spared by Gov. Greg Abbott – was one of three inmates behind a years-long suit alleging the drugs Texas uses could cause undue suffering.

And earlier this year, hours before his February execution, John Battaglia unsuccessfully tried winning a stay by raising concerns about two allegedly botched executions his lawyers said were caused by too-old drugs.

Both of those cases focused on the possibility that the drugs themselves would cause suffering, a claim that could more generally apply to any death row prisoner. Bible’s argument focuses more narrowly on the possibility that he, specifically, is unfit to execute.

“To my knowledge this is the first suit of its kind in Texas,” said lethal injection expert and death penalty lawyer Maurie Levin, who worked on the Whitaker and Battaglia cases.

In Bible’s case, his lawyers suggest that an alternative method – firing squad or nitrogen gas – would decrease the risk of suffering.

Bible was initially sent to death row in 2003, more than two decades after the crime that landed him there.

A former drifter, Bible’s lengthy string of violence dates back to at least 1979. That May, a passerby found the bloodied, half-naked body of Inez Deaton along the slope of a Houston bayou. She’d been stabbed 11 times with an ice pick before her killer posed her corpse by the water.

For nearly two decades, Deaton’s slaying went unsolved – but Bible’s violent streak continued.

In the years that followed, Bible terrorized women in the Midwest, once setting his girlfriend’s car on fire because he didn’t like her haircut. After he returned to Texas and settled west of Fort Worth, he murdered his sister-in-law Tracy Powers and her infant son Justin. Then, he killed Powers’ roommate, Pam Hudgins, and left her body hanging from a roadside fence.

Following those killings, he fled to Montana, where he kidnapped a woman and raped an 11-year-old girl, according to court records.

Eventually, he was caught and in 1984 he pleaded guilty to Hudgins’ murder. He was sentenced to 25 years for the killing and 20 years for a Harris County robbery. He was released on parole eight years later, under a since-repealed mandatory supervision law.

While still on parole, he raped and molested multiple young relatives, including a 5-year-old. Then in 1998, he raped Tera Robinson in a Louisiana motel room before stuffing her into a duffel bag when he became enraged that he couldn’t maintain an erection. The woman broke free and called for help.

Bible was eventually caught in Florida, and freely admitted to his crimes under questioning.

Weeks after he was sentenced, Bible narrowly escaped death during a head-on-collision on the way to death row. The officer behind the wheel of the prison transport vehicle, 40-year-old John Bennett, died in the wreck, while Bible ended up in a wheelchair.

In past appeals, Bible’s attorneys have used his deteriorating medical condition to argue against his execution, saying he can’t be a danger in his current state.

Texas has already executed six men this year, including another Houston serial killer, Anthony Shore. Aside from Bible’s, there are seven other death dates on the calendar in Texas.

DCG

19 responses to “Lawyer for Houston serial killer Danny Bible says he’s “too sick” to execute

  1. To think anyone would even dare to ask for any kind of compassion for this piece of scum is laughable. After reading his history of crime and that he was sentenced only 25 years for a murder and 20 years for a robbery is insane. And to think he actually got parole along the way is sickening. Seems to me, his health related issues are his crimes coming home to roost.
    I don’t believe for a minute that he should even be considered a non threat in his condition. People like him always find a way to commit crimes.
    He has done nothing to earn any compassion.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Why not use an icepick?

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I always suspected that lethal injection would bring its nuanced difficulties, and here they are. (There is also the case of the pharmaceutical company that refused to sell one state, I believe Ohio, any more of these drugs for lethal injection).
    I also do not understand why one state cannot sue another when cases like Bible’s come along, or why the relatives of victims cannot sue the parole boards that spring these monsters.
    Well, looks like Bible will beat the rap in the death chamber, but the Old Grim Reaper will catch up with him soon enough. And then Hell will have a “Bible” of its own! (sarc!)

    Liked by 5 people

    • Steven . . . Very well said! Either get together a firing squad, or let him sit in his wheelchair while they are preparing him for hanging! I have no sympathy for someone who had repeatedly caused such horrific damage to other human beings.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. He should have been executed after the first murder, or at the least, given life without parole. How dare killers like this expect to be shown mercy when they had none at all for their victims.

    I was recently reading about some of the notorious gangsters of the 1930s, mainly about John Dillinger and his merry band of degenerates. Back then, when a criminal was shot by the police, he would be sent to the hospital for treatment. Once he had recovered, his death penalty would be carried out in short order. Oh how far we’ve come from punishing those who kill people.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Maryaha . . . I agree with you, this supposedly humane treatment of those who murder others is ridiculous. There is no reason for the sentence of death to be delayed 5-10-15-20 years. It needs to be carried out post haste.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. WELL, we know DHS has PLENTY of bullets. Why not buy one or two from them? That should alleviate the whole, cruel & unusual punishment argument. I mean, if it’s good enough for a number of past Presidents who were taken out by ((them)), then we have every right to use the same methods.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Dennis Godaire

    Weak, frail and sickly … sounds like perfect timing for this scumbag. Keeping this situation simple … a smartly tied Hillary scarf should do.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hanging by the neck until dead would also work.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Let his lawyer take his place.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Give’m a one-way free-ride to the Arizona desert, leave him on the back seat to cook, he’ll be soooo goood, the vultures won’t wait and feast, no bones left no trace he was there.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Release him into general population and let the inmates fix the problem, child rapists and murderers are bottom feeders in prison. He won’t last 3 days in there.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. 230 grain slug at 900 fps to the back of the old grapefruit will do the trick….. I still have a couple of those I could donate. From the rap sheet, this fook is too sick to LIVE!

    “Speaking the truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act.” Geo. Orwell

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Comrade Obama

    Use a flamethrower on the scum.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Maybe Asia Argento could teach him the joys of auto-asphyctiation.

    Liked by 2 people

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