Davidson court to decide West's execution claim

Monday, November 8, 2010 at 1:08pm
Staff reports

The Tennessee Supreme Court has delayed the execution of convicted murderer Stephen Michael West, rescheduling it from Nov. 9 to Nov. 30.

West filed a lawsuit challenging Tennessee’s three-drug legal injection protocol. In the suit, West alleges the method violates prisoners’ constitutional rights because the first drug, sodium thiopental, does not render a prisoner fully unconscious before the final two drugs are administered and thus causes severe pain.

Because evidence has not yet been presented regarding the claim, the Supreme Court has remanded the case to the Davidson County Chancery Court for an immediate hearing to make a decision regarding West’s claim. In the order, the court notes that “decisions involving such profoundly important and sensitive issues . . . are best decided on evidence that has been presented, tested, and weighed in an adversarial hearing.”

In 1987, West was convicted of kidnapping and fatally stabbing Wanda Romines and her 15-year-old daughter, Sheila Romines, in Union County. In addition, he was convicted of raping the teenager.

7 Comments on this post:

By: cjbwhite1 on 11/8/10 at 1:31

So the sodium thiopental wouldn't render him totally unconscious before the final drugs and he would be in pain. I'll bet his victims weren't unconscious before he raped and stabbed them. They need to just do away with the sodium thiopental and inject the final 2 drugs, or anti-freeze, or something.

By: nashtnman on 11/8/10 at 1:44

Severe pain?? Like the pain like he caused his victims?? The pain like he caused the family of his victims? This piece of trash should have been disposed of long ago and you bleeding heart supporters can rot right beside him. What about the 15 year old girl whose life was violently snuffed out because of this sick pick of shit? He deserves to die in the same manner he took the lives. If you can support this man’s cause and still go to church you are part of the problem. This sick piece of shit needs to die. I am tired of my tax dollars supporting this kind of trash while liberal mouths complain about how he is treated, and his rights, and his poor conditions. What about victims rights? What about the family of the victims? He is nothing but a coward and a murder. If you side with him you can lie down with him.

By: yogiman on 11/8/10 at 6:53

I agree. This man (if you want to call a man) should not be placed into such pain. My opinion? He should be put to death in the same manner in which he murdered those women.

And it has taken 23 years for our judicial system to make this decision?

Is this supposed to be a judicial system or a simple "welcome to our club" system?

When a person is found guilty beyond any reasonable doubt, kill the sob! Their up keep is too damned expensive. The water is too cost too much to provide.

By: not_guilty on 11/8/10 at 7:33

cjbwhite1, nashtnman, and yogiman, are you proud of your bloodlust?

Has the execution of a convict ever brought a murder victim back to life?

What if an inmate is killed by injection of poisons (or fried like a slab of bacon), and the victim's survivors then decide that their yearning for revenge is still not satiated? What then?

If the State hires an executioner to kill killers, should it next hire a rapist to rape those convicted of that heinous offense?

An eye for an eye makes the world blind.

By: yogiman on 11/9/10 at 8:33

Everyone is entitled to their own thoughts, not_guilty.

Would you prefer a killer was given a simple sentence it prison and then be released so he could possibly put your family next on his list? Even if given life without parole, they could escape.. then what? Whose next?

Please re-read the last paragraph in my note. If proven guilty beyond any reasonable doubt, they should they should be eliminated from this earth. They do not deserve another breath of fresh air. And I would also repeat, kill them like they killed their victims, then they would actually know how those people felt when he was slaying them. If there is any possible doubt in guilt, then yes, a sentence in prison. As is known, too many prisoners are released after evidence later proved them not guilty.

And our courts are considering the punishment he may receive when executed? The courts of today in our nation take too much assumption on decisions. Too many tend to make the laws instead of following the Constitution our founders laid forth.

By: yogiman on 11/9/10 at 8:42

To go a little deeper into our courts of today; no lawyer wants to lose a case in court. It has been know in cases where proof of innocence has been refused to be presented because the processors want the person proven guilty. They don't like to lose.

By: MJB on 11/14/10 at 4:18

Hurting people in the manner in which they have hurt others justifies their original heinous acts. When people are a danger to society, lock them away from society.

As for the expense, a death sentence is more expensive than a sentence of life w/out parole.

I am glad of any case that removes anyone from Death Row, but it's time for Tennessee to step forward and forswear the practice of killing altogether.