lethal injection


Photographs from the execution of serial killer Manuel Martinez Coronado, a mass murderer whose execution was broadcast on live television in Guatemala. Coronado was convicted of murdering seven people over a land dispute, although there is some concern that it was his step father who was truly responsible. Coronado’s execution was carried out by medical doctors (pictured above in surgical gowns), something that Amnesty International has pointed out is a serious breach of ethics. During the broadcast of his death Coronado’s wife could be heard sobbing continuously during the 18 minutes it took for him die. Coronado was the first person in Guatemala to be executed by lethal injection. 


The 17 January, 2006, execution of Clarance Ray Allen is arguably one of America’s most controversial executions. Clarance Ray Allen first found himself in prison after he and four accomplices robbed Fran’s Market grocery store in California. After the successful robbery, one accomplice, 17-year-old Mary Sue, blurted out that Allen was responsible for the robbery to the son of the couple who owned the grocery store. Enraged by the revelation, Allen ordered Lee Furrow, another accomplice, to strangle Kitts and to dispose of her body, to which he complied. Allen was soon apprehended and sentenced to life imprisonment while the real killer, Furrow, was charged with second-degree murder. While behind bars, Allen struck up a friendship with Billy Ray Hamilton, a conman who was going to be paroled. Revenge driven, Allen asked Hamilton to murder the witnesses whom testified against him during his trial. On 5 September, 1980, Hamilton travelled to Fran’s Market armed with a sawed-off shotgun. Once there he senselessly murdered 27-year-old Byron Schletewitz, 17-year-old Josephine Rocha, and 18-year-old Douglas White. Unbeknownst to Hamilton, a neighbour, Jack Abbott, heard the commotion and armed himself with a shotgun and made his way to the market. Hamilton and Abbott exchanged fire before Hamilton fled. He was soon apprehended and found with a “hit list” containing the names of the witnesses; he was charged and sentenced to life imprisonment. For his part in the murders, Allen was sentenced to die. Over the next 23 years, Allen sat on death row with his health deteriorating substantially. He lost his hearing, was confined to a wheelchair, and was declared legally blind. He didn’t know sign language so was unable to communicate. On 2 September, 2005, Allen suffered a heart attack but managed to survive. His lawyers argued that executing Allen would constitute as cruel and unusual punishment and that somebody as incapacitated as Allen was no danger to anybody . The court did not agree and Allen was executed by lethal injection the day after his 76th birthday.

Richard Cobb was executed in Texas after fatally shooting convenience store robbery-turned-abduction nearly 11 years ago. His final statement was :

“Life is death, and death is life. I hope that someday this absurdity that humanity has come to will come to an end. Life is too short, life is too short, and I hope anyone that has negative energy towards me will resolve that.“

Minutes after the drug began coursing through his veins, Cobb’s head snapped off the gurney and said, 

"Wow. This is great. Thank you warden ! Thank you (expletive) warden !” 

You’re killing an innocent man.

John Middleton, a Missouri prisoner killed by lethal injection on Wednesday.

Middleton was convicted of three murders despite doubts over his guilt and concerns he may have been mentally ill. Attorneys for Middleton said new evidence showed that one of the murders took place when he was actually 40 miles away, in a jail in Iowa.

Earlier this week, a federal judge stayed Middleton’s execution, saying he met the standard for mental incapacity “showing that he is incompetent to be executed.” But an appeals court overturned the stay.