Tommy Lynn Sells is dead, executed with a Pentobarbital-filled needle tot he arm last night in Huntsville, but the issues raised by lawyers who tried to block his execution remain, 1200 WOAI news reports.
Maurie Levin, a civil rights attorney, said it is not right in a civilized society, for the government to keep anything secret when it sets out to kill one of its citizens in the name of justice, regardless of the heinous crimes that individual committed. The state has declined to reveal where it obtained the shipment of five doses of the sedative, one of which was used to kill Sells.
"Prisoners who are scheduled to be executed, are entitled to that information in order to assess the suffering that may result from the use of sub par drugs," Levin told 1200 WOAI news.
Texas says revealing the source of the Pentobarbital could place the pharmacy that supplied it at risk. Lawyers for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice says after it was revealed that a compounding pharmacy in The Woodlands sold the state its previous supply of lethal injection drugs, anti death penalty activists threatened to ignite a truck bomb in front of the pharmacy.
"It is out belief that how we choose to execute prisoners reflects on us as a society," Levin said following last night's execution. "Without transparency about lethal injections, particularly the source and purity of the drugs to be used, it is impossible to ensure that executions are humane and constitutional."
What Sells did was definitely not humane. He was convicted of strangling and slashing the throat of a 13 year old girl in Del Rio in 1999, and he pleaded guilty to the infamous 'Fiesta Murder' of nine year old Mary Bea Perez in San Antonio the same year.
Sells has been linked to more than a dozen killings, especially murders of children and in one case, the murder of an entire family. He claimed to have killed 70 people, and used the nickname 'Coast to Coast' to describe the places where he committed his crimes.