USA: GEORGIA EXECUTES INMATE WHO HAD ATTEMPTED SUICIDE
September 28, 2010: A Georgia prisoner who tried to kill himself last week by slashing his arms and throat with a razor blade was executed amid heightened security for the 1998 murders of a trucking company owner and his two children.
Brandon Joseph Rhode, 31, was put to death by injection at the state prison in Jackson.
He was convicted in 2000 of killing Steven Moss, 37, his 11-year-old son Bryan and 15-year-old daughter Kristin during a burglary of their Jones County home in central Georgia.
His coconspirator, Daniel Lucas, was also sentenced to death in a separate trial and remains on death row.
Medics then tried for about 30 minutes to find a vein to inject the three-drug concoction.
Moments before Rhode was pronounced dead he turned his head, exposing a bandage over the part of his neck he slashed.
It took 14 minutes for the lethal dose to kill him.
Rhode had initially been scheduled to be put to death Sept. 21, but the Georgia Supreme Court postponed the execution after Rhode was rushed to the hospital that day following a suicide attempt.
Rhode was stabilized at a local hospital and placed in a restraining chair to prevent him from removing the sutures from his neck or doing any other harm to himself, state attorneys said.
Defense attorney Brian Kammer countered that Rhode was put in a "torture chair" and subjected to cruel and unusual punishment.
"He has been subjected to the surreal and incomprehensible: Heroic measures taken to stabilize his life by the prison staff that would then execute him," Kammer said in one court filing.
Kammer urged the Georgia Supreme Court to push back the execution again so experts could evaluate whether Rhode was mentally competent to be executed, or understood why he was being punished. He said Rhode lost half his blood Sept. 21 when he cut himself, went into shock and could have suffered brain damage. (Sources: Ap, 28/09/2010)