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Texas Execution

Michael Graczyk reports for AP:

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) -- A Texas woman convicted of the starvation and torture death of her girlfriend's 9-year-old son a decade ago was executed Wednesday evening.

Lisa Coleman, 38, received a lethal injection after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a last-day appeal to spare her.

She was pronounced dead at 6:24 p.m. CDT, 12 minutes after Texas Department of Criminal officials began administering a lethal dose of pentobarbital.

Coleman became the ninth convicted killer and second woman to receive lethal injection in Texas this year. Nationally, she's the 15th woman executed since the Supreme Court in 1976 allowed the death penalty to resume. During that same time, nearly 1,400 men have been put to death.

Coleman was condemned for the death of Davontae Williams, whose emaciated body was found in July 2004 at the North Texas apartment Coleman shared with his mother, Marcella Williams.

Paramedics who found him dead said they were shocked to learn his age. He weighed 36 pounds, about half that of a normal 9-year-old. A pediatrician later would testify that he had more than 250 distinct injuries, including burns from cigarettes or cigars and scars from ligatures, and that a lack of food made him stop growing.

"There was not an inch on his body that not been bruised or scarred or injured," said Dixie Bersano, one of Coleman's trial prosecutors.
Women are a much smaller proportion of death row than of the general population, but we don't hear the same wailing and gnashing of teeth that we do with racial "disproportion."  It's perfectly obvious to everyone that women per capita commit fewer murders overall and far fewer murders deserving the death penalty than men, and therefore comparison with the general population is irrelevant.  Why are so many people blind to the same truth on the racial angle?

But there are a few.  Torture and starvation of a child definitely does it.

Twelve minutes.  No indication of a problem.  Pentobarbital is the way to go if we can get it.  Write your congressman and demand action lifting importation restrictions and outlawing resale restrictions in contracts.


This was a truly awful crime--one of the more heinous crimes for those one the row--this is justice done. No doubt about that.

Another ghastly example of why abolitionists refuse to discuss specific cases, with the sole exception of the phony innocence case of Todd Cameron Willingham.

The notion that a jail sentence of any length is proportionate justice for this crime -- years of starvation and torture of a helpless child -- is well beyond absurd.

This case is also graphic evidence as to why Kennedy v. Louisiana was wrongly decided. The death penalty should be available for what this woman did leading up the kid's death. The last straw producing death itself was actually the most merciful thing she did to him.

Bill, if by "wrongly decided" you mean utterly lawless and a stain on our Republic, then I would agree. Kennedy v. Louisiana was nothing short of a usurpation, and, quite bluntly, I think it should be treated as one. And that goes whether or not one thinks the death penalty for crimes not involving murder is good policy.

Justice Kennedy and the others that voted for this nonsense are deserving of calumny. In a society that valued its right to self-governance (liberals, in my view, for the most part just like policy wins no matter what the price paid), Justices Kennedy, Breyer, Ginsburg, Stevens and Souter would be reviled. They have undermined the Republic. And what they risk is the very destruction of the rule of law. Putting aside the mischief of Supreme Court Justices smuggling in policy preferences under the guise of constitutional interpretation, any man on the street with common sense knows that in a significant number of cases, these guys are making it up. Well, if Supreme Court Justices can make up laws, what obligation is there to follow the law? If they're not bound, why is the average man in the street? The answer is power. And after a few generations or so of making it up, the public is more inured to the government simply blowing off the rules when it wants to--got a house on public land--well, if the government shuts down, they'll throw you out at gunpoint or keep you interned in a hotel if you're a Japanese tourist.

There is little difference between Kennedy v. Louisiana and the Obama Administration's current position on federal power, which is basically, if no one has standing to challenge my actions, then even Constitutional restrictions such as the requirement that all moneys spent be appropriated by Congress are of no moment. "Wrongly decided" masks that.

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