I know there has been a lot written about the sad Troy Davis case from 1989 right through to today, following his execution in Georgia this week. I have long had mixed feelings about the death penalty myself - opposing it but finding myself wavering where terribly heinous crimes were involved and clear evidence or confessions of guilt were involved.
However the Davis case presents everything that's wrong with this form of ultimate punishment; coercion, racism, no physical evidence of guilt and questions of judicial inequality with defense. All these issues have been spoken of and addressed over the past two decades - and not just in the Davis case. So I am not going to bother readers with re-hashing those issues and leave them with unanswered and unanswerable questions as has been happened over and over in the past.
What I am going to do is address this execution and tell you why I believe it was actually not an execution, but rather a contract murder. Tough claim, for sure but it has all the earmarks of a "hit" by an organized criminal element - the state of Georgia. This murder was accomplished with the help of the U.S. Department of Justice an by actors who knowingly and deliberately have been violating federal drug and other laws for several years in the pursuit of killing prisoners from coast to coast. What's worse is the way taxpayers are forking over tens of thousands of dollars to pay for these "contract" killings. More macabre, is the fact the "contract killer" says he uses much of the profit off his killings to help fund programs for kids. Is this too fucked up to be fact?
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has never been linked to legislation or involvement in writing "model legislation" dealing with the death penalty - not directly. In the ALEC Exposed series of articles and accompanying release of all of ALEC's now current model bills on July 13th of this year, more than 800 pieces of actual pro-corporate model legislation written by ALEC and passed out to each state were made public. An entire section of the released documents deals with: "Guns, Prison, Crimes and Immigration."
Within that particular section at the site are dozens of harsh, sentence lengthening and mostly unnecessary pieces of legislation that have been disseminated and enacted as law in many states. Buried deep down in this collection is one particular bill titled: "Targeted Contracting For Certain Correctional Facilities and Services Act." This pro-corporate legislation has been used state by state to allow for privatization of complete prison facilities, canteen operations, phone contracts, food service and healthcare.
This model legislation reads in part:
Sec. __. AUTHORITY TO CONTRACT FOR SERVICES.
(1) The department shall request proposals from private vendors or political subdivisions
for contracts to provide support services such as logistics, health care, transportation,
food service, information systems and management, technology acquisition,
telecommunications, education, employee and inmate job training, human resources,
continuing education, facility construction and repair maintenance, materials handling,
management processes, efficient operations, productivity of manufacturing, cost tracking and reduction, and any other process performed within the department.
(2) If the department on analysis of the proposals determines that a service could be
provided by a private vendor or political subdivision under a contract with a cost savings, increase in productivity, or reduction in recidivism, the department shall enter into one or more contracts for those services in the manner provided by law.
One of the dozens of states where ALEC was successful in promoting and enacting this legislation is Georgia which today has privately run prisons and prisoner healthcare is privatized. The outsourcing of inmate healthcare allows private companies to take over all responsibility for providing care and treatment to state prisoners. The medical contract was awarded to Georgia Correctional Healthcare in 2003 and later became CorrectHealth. Dr. Carlo Musso, a native of Franklin, La., is president of CorrectHealth and owner of Rainbow Medical Associates which is contracted by the Georgia Department of Corrections to oversee executions.
CorrectHealth operates in several states now - including Musso's home state of Louisiana - overseeing and managing multiple executions involving lethal injections. In 2008 when Troy Davis was facing execution, Rainbow Medical Associates and Musso were to manage that execution. Davis avoided meeting up with both until this past Wednesday night.
Events taking place since Davis' halted execution in 08 have been exposed. These events call into question the legality of any execution carried out by private corporations such as CorrectHealth and Rainbow. More importantly what I'm going to reveal about all this has been reported already (not in the MSM, no of course not there) and is/was known by the U.S. Dept. of Justice, Georgia authorities and members of the U.S. Supreme Court as well. All that had to be done was for the feds to enforce the current drug laws, prosecute those involved in illegal drug importation and several men put to death would still be alive.
What is truly sad is this - without the privatization of Georgia's prison healthcare, Davis' and the execution of others, would not have been possible. Thus those still hurting from these executions and fighting to abolish the death penalty can look directly at ALEC for how their pro-corporate agenda and "model legislation" led to multiple murders. These efforts were assisted by pharmaceutical manufacturers represented by PhRMA on ALEC's Private Enterprise Board. When we realize that Georgia is right now another state that has adopted and passed immigration legislation created by ALEC - similar to SB 1070 used in AZ. - that this profiting off of prison privatization is increasing in Georgia by the day. This isn't the first time people have been killed over "greed", but it's one of the first that involved the acquiescence of and permission from state government authorities - and condoned by the Department of Justice.
Many will start to understand my passion for writing about and trying to expose the relationships involving ALEC, corporate profits and privatizational partnerships between state authorities and corporate interests. These "partnerships" are now being used to kill people, cheered on by Republican audiences at Republican debates that serves only to reinforce pursuit of executing more.
It begins with one of the drugs used to kill...
Concern that prisoners were being tortured to death was at the heart of the landmark 2008 Supreme Court case Baze v. Rees, which sought to decide whether lethal injection was cruel and unusual punishment. Though upheld by the SCOTUS, states have strayed from the process upheld in Baze, partly because of a nationwide shortage of the drug known as sodium thiopental. This is used as the first drug in this morbid "cocktail" of three used to kill prisoners. Sodium thiopental was manufactured by a U.S. pharmaceutical manufacturer, Hospira, Inc. (NYSE: HSP) is a U.S.-based global pharmaceutical and medical device company with headquarters in Lake Forest, Illinois.
Due to death penalty objectors and activists, this drug became scarce as country by country manufacturers of one or more of the ingredients used to manufacture sodium thiopental stopped allowing those ingredients to be used for executions. The shortage went back to August 2009, when Hospira announced a temporary halt after one of its key suppliers stopped making a crucial ingredient. The last country where Hospira could obtain this necessary ingredient was Italy.
On January 21, 2011, Hospira announced that it would stop production of sodium thiopental altogether because it could not guarantee Italian authorities that the drug would not be used in executions. Italy was the only viable place where the company could produce sodium thiopental, leaving the United States without a pharmaceutical supplier. As a result, those states using the drug as the critical anesthetic to carry out a sentence of death by lethal injection scrambled to find alternative sources. Due to the 2008 SCOTUS decision in Baze, the accepted protocol was set and Governors knew that without sodium thiopental executions could not go forward and they could not simply change the "cocktail" without defense attorneys causing another trip to SCOTUS.
Musso, CorrectHealth and Rainbow saw this as a way of increasing their income if they were able to provide the drugs to states wanting it - or secure and identify a supplier for them. Musso located a supplier in UK, Dream Pharma "that operated out of the back of a driving school". He notified Georgia authorities of the supplier and they secured a supply from Dream Pharma. Dr. Musso’s company, CorrectHealth, also purchased and imported a supply of sodium thiopental from Dream Pharma. In addition to importing this drug, Dr. Musso sold his supply to Kentucky and Tennessee, two other states desperate to obtain the highly sought-after sodium thiopental. Problem was, the purchase, importation and possession of this drug was in violation of several state and federal laws:
"The law, both federal and state, is clear: no person or organization may import or distribute a controlled substance without first registering with both the Georgia Board of Pharmacy and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) of the Attorney General. The complaint filed today presents evidence that Carlo Anthony Musso, M.D., owner and operator of the Georgia-based companies Correct Health and Rainbow Medical Associates, had no such licenses when he imported sodium thiopental into the United States and distributed it to the departments of corrections in Kentucky and Tennessee. In doing so, Dr. Musso violated a host of state and federal criminal laws including, for example, both the state and federal Controlled Substances Acts.
In March, 2011, the Drug Enforcement Authority (DEA) seized Georgia’s supply amid questions about how the drug was imported into the United States. Just as the DEA seized the drugs purchased by Georgia, they followed Dr. Musso’s unregistered sales of the illegally obtained sodium thiopental and seized the drugs purchased by Kentucky and Tennessee. The Southern Center for Human Rights filed a complaint with the Georgia Medical Board against Musso, CorrectHealth and Rainbow Medical Center:
“This complaint is not about Dr. Musso’s role at state-sponsored executions – this is a complaint about the law and whether the person importing and distributing the drug isproperly licensed. Dr. Musso was not,” states SCHR Attorney Jessica Oats. “Georgia’s Medical Board should revoke Dr. Musso’s license to practice medicine; at the very least, it should suspend his license pending a full investigation.”
So not only did the Drug Enforcement Agency know about the import of drugs by Musso and the state of Georgia through violation of the federal law, they seized the drug and thus had proof Musso and Georgia had deliberately violated laws in order to take a human life. By surveiling the activities of Musso the DEA was aware he was breaking the law, allowed him to do so, yet did nothing beyond seize the contraband pharmaceuticals once the act was completed.
In 2010 attorney's for another prisoner executed in Georgia had discovered the illegal importation of sodium thiopental by Georgia DOC as reported by Liliana Segura in The Nation magazine:
"Lawyers for Emmanuel Hammond knew he risked dying an excruciating death. After Rhode's botched execution, they filed an Open Records request to force the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) to disclose its source of sodium thiopental, while also requesting a stay of execution. Months later, on January 24, a Superior Court judge directed the GDC to release the records, but denied the stay, citing “no evidence” that the drugs were ineffective. The next day, just before midnight, Hammond was dead.
Their efforts were not in vain. The GDC records traced the drug used to kill Hammond and Rhode to a little-known Britain-based pharmaceutical wholesaler named Dream Pharma Ltd., whose headquarters are a rented space in the back of a driving school in a West London suburb. Its bare-bones website boasts that it can provide “discontinued” and “hard to find” drugs to customers, promising that “confidentiality will remain paramount.” According to e-mail records released to Hammond's attorneys, a Dream Pharma representative wrote in the summer of 2010 that the company would be “more than happy to assist” with Georgia's execution needs. Derrick Schofield, assistant commissioner and chief of staff of GDC, gave the green light for the order, writing, “Make it happen.”
"In February attorney John Bentivoglio wrote a letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder on behalf of another Georgia death row prisoner, arguing that the GDC had violated the federal Controlled Substances Act by ordering sodium thiopental directly from Dream Pharma. Classified as a “Schedule III nonnarcotic controlled substance,” he wrote, such a drug can be imported “if and only if advance notice is given to the Attorney General.” The law also makes it illegal to “possess, manufacture, distribute or dispense” controlled substances without a registration from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
"A few weeks later, DEA agents raided the maximum security prison in Jackson, Georgia, seizing the supply of sodium thiopental used to kill Hammond and Rhode.
Investigation disclosed that the drug obtained by Georgia from Dream Pharma was labeled as another pharmaceutical company, which had gone out of business in 2006. the drug had to have been manufactured for this manufacturer prior to 2006 and sodium thiopental has a shelf life of 4 years, so it was obviously out of date by the time Hammond was executed.
"DEA agents raided the maximum security prison in Jackson, Georgia, seizing the supply of sodium thiopental used to kill Hammond and Rhode. “There were questions about the way the drugs were imported over here,” a DEA spokesperson said. There were also questions about whether the drug, which seemed clearly ineffective, had expired before it got to Georgia."So add dispensing and introducing an expired drug to the list of violations in this case.
The Georgia Department of Corrections for years have lobbied for legislation that would prohibit the challenge of physicians' licenses for participating in executions and to keep doctor's who do participate from having their identities exposed. Going back as far as 2005 Dr. Musso, CorrectHealth and Georgia were embroiled in controversy regarding the death penalty and doctors participating in executions.
"The prison system now pays Rainbow Medical Associates $18,000 per execution. Before Rao's license was challenged, the department paid $850 per execution, said Bill Amideo, a lawyer for the state agency.
"The cost jumped because the doctors had to purchase liability insurance to protect themselves from possible license challenges, Amideo said.
"While he expected the prison system would have to pay more for the doctor's services, perhaps as much as $6,000 per execution, "we ended up having to pay three times as much to get this contract," Amideo said.
"State officials were in a hurry to sign Rainbow on June 29, (2005) just two days before the scheduled execution of convicted murderer Robert Karl Hicks on July 1. Since Rainbow Medical Associates has had the contract, its doctors have presided over three executions..."
"...Dr. Carlo Musso, who signed the contract with the state on behalf of Rainbow Medical Associates, said the group of seven to 10 doctors provides medical services to county jails throughout Georgia and is available to monitor executions.
"Musso said he and other doctors in the group are "a little bit worried" about license challenges, but he feels strongly they are providing an important service.
"Musso said in an interview that he was one of the doctors who oversaw Carr's execution Jan. 25."
So the one man signing the contract to provide "healthcare" to Georgia's inmates (as a private contractor), holds a another contract to supervise executions (as a private contractor), illegally imports the drugs (used in violation of both state and federal laws) and then "supervised" at least one of those executions himself (under his private contract between the state and Rainbow)....and as many often have questioned in similar cases, "how could this get any worse?"
"Musso, who is also medical director of the Rainbow House, an emergency shelter for abused children in Clayton County, said the doctors have donated some of the money they earn from executions."
to make matters worse...our damn Supreme Court Justices know all this and in their pious Conservative led mini-majority, wave their hands in approval and then plunge them into the many "gifts" that are given to them by their Conservative masters on frequent excursions to fund raisers for the likes of the Federalist Society.
Okay, sorry for the language this is some of the sickest foul shit to come out of this whole ALEC Exposed business. I mean this is the ultimate most despicable activity evolving out of a profit game conducted by a lot of crazy, stupid Conservative legislator assisted greedy corporate bastards we've exposed! I mean committing state and federal felonies to import an illegal drug, getting a free ride from state and federal authorities for their crimes then being allowed to use some of that same drug to kill a man who was quite probably innocent of his crime...then up the cost of this killing more than tenfold to the taxpayers (remember ALEC and the Conservative anthem that privatization saves tax dollars)...then try and justify their greed by claiming the "doctors" donate some of that blood money to an organization (Directed by a key player in this conspiracy - Musso) sheltering abused children! (More tax dollars going to a private non-profit through this scheme).
I researched Rainbow House and find it is not only all over Georgia, it is either a national chain of non-profits or franchise owned, with "Rainbow" Homes and facilities in more than a half dozen states: MO., NE., TX., WI., NJ. and IL.
Who owns this outfit? Are the owners affiliated with ALEC?...one of ALEC's private member corporations? How many "doctors" in other states donate some of their hard earned blood money to this Rainbow House? Knowing where that money comes from, how could such an organization even consider taking that money?
And finally is there no shame? How can we as a society: have sunk to such a low that some among us applaud murder; find no guilt in possibly killing an innocent man; turn our head to the deliberate breaking of all sorts of laws to facilitate a murder; continue to leave such a reprehensible punishment in place to possibly kill more people who may be innocent? Is there no friggin' shame left to a significant segment of our society?
I hereby call upon the U.S. Department of Justice and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to get off their asses, earn their frigging money and go after Musso and everyone else involved in illegally importing and using drugs. You know they did it, you have the friggin evidence and the paper trail. Prosecute these bastards. If you find them guilty, give them the harshest penalty possible and put their lily white asses behind bars where they obviously belong.
The only majority in this country who supports the death penalty is the minority - Republicans who applaud death by government. The same group that imprisons 4 African Americans to every 1 White.
and kills mostly convicts and kills Black prisoners. Is there no shame?
ALEC...you and the pricks who fund you, sponsor you, enable you and belong to your foul outfit...need to be given some harsh lessons. Your organization needs to be dissolved, its ashes tossed into the friggin' Potomac. Your corporate members called out, identified and castigated and denied sales by society. Your legislative members should be voted from office, charged with benefiting from illegal lobbying and corruption. Once that is accomplished there should be a huge march to the Supreme Court and demands for those complicit; Alito, Thomas, Scalia and Roberts who sit within garbed in black and shielded by the Constitution, be removed from office through impeachment to join the fate of the legislators who helped put them in office to disadvantage us by a corrupt loyalty to their corporate masters.