Death Watch: Pick Your Poison

Danny Bible will be executed. The question is, how?


Texas will execute its second serial killer of 2018, following the January killing of the "Tourniquet Killer" Anthony Shore. 66-year-old Danny Bible, known as the "Ice Pick Killer" for the weapon he used to kill 20-year-old Inez Deaton in 1979, is scheduled for lethal injection on Wednes­day, June 27, but not if his attorneys can stop it – the lethal injection, that is.

On June 8, Bible's newly appointed counsel filed suit in the Southern District of Texas federal court against Gov. Greg Abbott, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, and two senior wardens of the Polunsky and Huntsville prison units, seeking a permanent injunction to save him from lethal injection, claiming the procedure would cause him severe pain. The suit alleges that Bible – who suffers from heart failure, coronary artery disease, chronic venous insufficiency, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Parkinson's, and more – is too ill for intravenous lethal injection, which involves two peripheral IVs and requires that the subject be lying down. Bible's attorneys say his veins are blown, and referencing several recently aborted executions, argue that any attempt to execute Bible by needle would constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

The suit does not contest Bible's charges, and rather than seeking relief outright, Bible's attorneys have offered two alternate execution methods: death by firing squad or by nitrogen hypoxia. They say both would reduce the "very likely risk of harm" caused by lethal injection.

Bible's attorneys are still awaiting a ruling as we go to press. Should the judge rule against their client, Bible will be the seventh inmate executed in 2018. Christopher Young is next; scheduled for July 17.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Death Watch
DOJ Declares FDA Unable to Regulate Execution Drugs
DOJ Declares FDA Unable to Regulate Execution Drugs
Ruling could put an end to the legal fight between Texas and the FDA

Sarah Marloff, May 17, 2019

Death Watch: Was Dexter Johnson Condemned by His Own Attorney?
Death Watch: Was Dexter Johnson Condemned by His Own Attorney?
Inmate's new co-counsel seeks to terminate longtime attorney for bad lawyering

Sarah Marloff, April 26, 2019

More by Sarah Marloff
Protesters Descend On Leander Family Pride Event
Protesters Descend On Leander Family Pride Event
LGBTQ activists and allies turn out to support attendees

June 15, 2019

Qmmunity: On Finding Queer Joy
Qmmunity: On Finding Queer Joy
Plus, more Pride events to help you forget it’s hot outside

June 14, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Danny Bible, Death Watch

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle