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.

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