Napoli weighs in on the execution

Tonight on the Sioux Falls Argus Leader website, Bill Napoli weighs in with his opinion on halting the execution:
State Sen. Bill Napoli of Rapid City said Gov. Mike Rounds should not have stopped the execution of Elijah Page.

And he questioned why the state planned to use three drugs to kill him.

Napoli said he was disappointed that the issue involving the lethal drugs was not discovered much earlier.

and..

“People can’t have faith in the justice system if justice is not carried out,” he said.
Read it all here.

This issue is one of those I suppose you'd term a sticky wicket. If they used the three drugs, they'd be in violation of state law and possibly liable for a lawsuit. If they used the two as prescribed under state law, then the question becomes whether or not it's cruel and unusual punishment as one of the other inmates has alleged for his future execution.

In either case, the state would possibly be facing a lawsuit.

So, you're damned if you do, damned if you don't

Comments

Anonymous said…
PP:

1) The only person who would have had legal standing to appeal the use of two drugs instead of three had specifically waived the issue. His lawyers discussed it with him and Paige waived it.

Thus no sticky whicket and no challenge to the law. Stop apologizing for a weak-kneed Governor. I know the AG told him that. Any AG would have counseled his Gov. the same way. The silence from Larry Long today has been deafening. I bet Long was fuming over Round's decision. Long knew that there was no challenge and that we should have moved to nuke the guy.

2) The Governor's office knew about this for sometime now and could have brought the issue up much earlier than it did. Rounds was quoted in the Argus today as having said that he mentioned it to the AG's office a while back.

So, why didn't Rounds change the three drug policy to two earlier? And why did he wait so long to stop the execution? Which agency promulgated the rules for the three drug cocktail? Why didn't the state move faster to fix this? The Penitentiary Warden knew about this issue back in 04. Plenty of time to fix this with two legislative sessions. Even without knowing that Paige would waive his appeals.

Here's the political calculus: Rounds has never clearly articulated his support for the death penalty. He has merely supported the carrying out of an execution sentence. Two different things when in a debate with a Democrat. This way Rounds stays tight with the Old DFL, I know this is SD, Catholics who still feel tempted to vote for Republicans who are pro-life. He didn't want make them mad. So, in an effort to maintain his base and appeal to "true pro-lifers" he puts himself in a tight position and passes the ball to the legislature.

And this isn't about the 06 race, it's in the bag for Rounds. This is about 08 where he's going to need those DFL Catholics out there in the hinterlands if he wants to have a chance against Johnson.

Rounds is hurting legislative Republicans by his ineptness. He's giving voters in swing districts a reason to support a Democrat in those districts running on the Pierre doesn't have it's crap together platform. Districts where R's are in office right now where there are strong D's in the Sioux Falls area come to mind.
Anonymous said…
PP,
How come Rounds didn't think of that for the abortion bill? Maybe the likelihood of Radical Liberals suing is rare so the SD taxpayer doesn't need to worry. However, the likelihood that some state employee was going to be sued for doing his/her job of lethal injection to an ax murder must be imminent.
Anonymous said…
I can't believe PP isn't livid that Napoli is challenging the governor.

I mean, when is the press going to stop this media whore that Napoli is. He really gets off on seeing his name in the paper, doesn't he?

You won't find any other legislators nosing around in statewide affairs. But, ever since Napoli became a verb, the media loves to give this jester the mic.

And, what's more, is that Napoli is really too stupid to realize that no one cares what he thinks, they just care that he thinks something controversial. Napoli is self-serving, egomaniac.

Did you know he used to steal cars?
Anonymous said…
pp and Anon 8:40

The AG has not kept his silence. You need to look at KELO (link below) where the AG clearly counseled the Governor that the 3 drug cocktail could be used becasue Page had waived his right to object.

http://www.keloland.com/NewsDetail6162.cfm?Id=0,50621
Anonymous said…
Very warped interpretation, the law does not say only 2 drugs may be used, it says a barbituate and an paralyzer shall be used. as opposed to everclear and sulfuric acid. It does not mean that you could not use 2 barbituates and 2 paralyzers (4) drugs, just that they have to be one of each (at least)
This fiasco reminds me of the propane tank laws that must change yearly, every time I need propane for my grill I gotta buy a new kind of tank (@#$%!!****&^%$#@)
Anonymous said…
Napoli just has to try and get any attention he can.

Just another example of the media starved Napoli jumping in on anything that is making headlines.
Anonymous said…
Napoli is an idiot. Anyone who cares what he thinks is as well.
Nicholas Nemec said…
Rounds, Long, and the Corrections department are all idiots.

This has been the law since the 1980's. We've had someone one Death Row since the mid 1990's. The Corrections Department has sent people all over the country to learn how to poison people. Rounds figures out that something is wrong five hours before the poisoning.

Those giant billboards that have Rounds' Mao like image and and a one word description like "Vision" and "Leadership" are becoming more laughable all the time. Someone with real vision and leadership would have spotted this technicality and taken care of it years ago.

Let's face it Smiling Mike Rounds, the accidental Governor, and the entire Republican cabal in Pierre are screw ups that have become a little to comfortable in their jobs. It's time to clean house and get some competent leadership.
mhs said…
Nic, you're absolutely right. Just as soon as the Democratic party comes up with a candidate, we'll vote them right in.

OK! so, who's running? Anyone? Anyone? Any Democrat? Doesn't have to be a Clinton. Anyone? Somebody? Hello? Buehler?

By the way, Anon#1, your junior-high concept of standing is laughable.
Anonymous said…
"Nuke him" nice. Go shoot an MD who's performed an abortion.

This is a political ploy to shift the responsibility to the legistlature pure and simple. Earlier fellow anon had it right, Rounds doesn't need to do this for 06. I don't think this is for 08 though, I think the man just wanted to pass the buck...Maybe Randy Frederick came up with this great strategery. MAKE A DECISION, GROW A SPINE regardless of the issue.

You can not be all things to all people. If I have to listen to another person tell me the governor supports this issue, this bill, this idea only to hear the other side say the same things, b/c they are both right, the gov. supports both sides of the same damn issue (or at least he tells people when pressed in person), I'm going to puke.
Anonymous said…
Actually anonymous #1's idea on standing is right on. The only person who could assert standing on cruel and unusual punishment would have passed on. There could not be a wrongful death claim because Page asked to die. Finally, a negligence claim? Maybe, but who is going to bring it?

The State was obviously worried about how executing Page would have affected the other cases on death row. However, those concerns would have been alleviated when they amended the 1984 law to reflect a three drug cocktail. There may have been an appeal on that statute, but that appeal would have come from someone on South Dakota's death row eventually, and the law has been successfully upheld by other Courts already.

On another note, regardless of how you feel about Napoli, he has a valid point. This situation should have been handled much better. However, when you have no real opponent and no political pressure you are allowed to handle important situations in this manner. This type of confused, inept leadership will eventually lead to a stronger Democrat presence in both the Legislature and constitutional offices, with absolutely no help from the Democrats.
Anonymous said…
PP. Enough with Napoli, please post some articals that people are interested in.

Napoli must be having withdrawls from not seeing his name in the news for a week.

The question is "WHO CARES WHAT NAPOLI THINKS!".

Doesn't he get it, no one is listening anymore. (OK, maybe a couple of nuts cases)
Anonymous said…
Anon 8:46 thanks for recognizing legal genius when you see it.

mhs 8:18: politics is for grown ups, when you start to shave let me know.

Standing is clear in these cases. Go read the SD court cases and the last two fed death penalty cases. You don't have to be a lawyer you just need to be able to read.

The family may have standing on a negligence claim but getting around soveriegn immunity would be difficult. Also, it would not be negligence because there is nothing wrong with giving two drugs instead of one. It's a claim that has no basis in statutory or common law. To argue it successfuly you would have to overcome high hurdles, like proving that the state cannot execute people with two instead of three chemicals. Besides botched executions where the killer lives at the end have been protected from lawsuits. Although the ACLU is trying to revive the claim in Ohio with the Clark execution where the prison folk couldn't find a vien to stick the death needle in.
Anonymous said…
I care what Napoli thinks... and I'm darn glad that he says what he thinks, no matter if it hurts the governor's feelings or not.

As I've said before, I don't always agree with Bill, but his candor is a breath of fresh air. No pussy footing around with this guy. If you do something stupid, even if you happen to be governor of the state from the same party as Napoli is, you are going to get a verbal ripping.

Thank God for the man.
Anonymous said…
Obviously, many people are interested in what Napoli says. He's always newsworthy and brings many comments on the blogs.

Watch out, though, Bill. If you are not one of the sheep, people don't like you.
Anonymous said…
Again Sen. Napoli has it right. You may not like hearing the truth so you attack everything he has to say. Keep on Bill, the open minded need to hear what goes on with our trusted leaders.
Anonymous said…
Get off the blog Anon 10:54 AM, 2:05 PM, and 6:05 PM...I mean BILL!
Anonymous said…
I agree with Anon 9:11, and I swear I am a totally different, anonymous person...
Anonymous said…
I totally agree with anon 9:11 and 9:12. Bill sucks!
Anonymous said…
Anon 9:11, 9:12, and 9:13. I'm glad we all think alike...I hope everybody realizes what's going on here.
Anonymous said…
I'm new to the South Dakota political scene, and I've been reading about things that happened earlier in the year. One of the things I read was Napoli's infamous definition of rape.
Does he have a wife or daughter? I just wondered if he would stick to his concept of rape if a family member was the victim and the crime didn't fit his definition. That's one time that he would have fared better if he had kept quiet. Does he shove his foot in his mouth often?
Anonymous said…
"Does he shove his foot in his mouth often?"

HA! You really are new to the SD political scene, aren't you...

The better question would be, does he ever take his foot out of his mouth?

But this is SD. He represents this state perfectly.
Anonymous said…
“Anon 9:11, 9:12, and 9:13. I'm glad we all think alike...I hope everybody realizes what's going on here.”

“I totally agree with anon 9:11 and 9:12. Bill sucks!”

“I agree with Anon 9:11, and I swear I am a totally different, anonymous person...”

Yeah, right. I’m sure that’s the truth!?!

And no, I AM NOT Bill Napoli. As anonymous 10:54, I’m just an ordinary citizen, albeit a Republican, who appreciates candor and truth, no matter who it comes from.

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