Attorneys for Michael Yowell Ask Supreme Court to Stay Execution

Update as of 7:00 PM: Despite serious questions about the compounded drugs obtained by Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to stop tonight’s scheduled execution of Michael Yowell.  Below is a statement from attorneys for Mr. Yowell.

The State of Texas executed Michael Yowell at 7:11 PM this evening.

Statement from Attorneys for Michael Yowell

“We are extremely disappointed that the U.S. Supreme Court has denied Michael Yowell’s appeal asking that the public and the courts have meaningful access to information about how Texas plans to put him to death. In Mr. Yowell’s case, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice did not reveal information about the drug it intended to use for his execution until one week before tonight’s scheduled execution date.

‘In carrying out Mr. Yowell’s execution, Texas intends to use compounded penobarbital, for the first time.  This shift to compounded drugs is a dramatic change from prior practice – making the need for oversight – now and in the future – that much more important.

‘To permit the TDCJ to wait until the last minute to disclose such crucial information essentially shields them from any review, allowing it to make decisions about how to execute people without any accountability or transparency.  Surely this is not the way we want our government to carry out its most solemn duty.”

Maurie Levin and Bobbie Stratton, October 9, 2013 

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This afternoon, attorneys for Michael Yowell, who is scheduled to be executed in Texas this evening, filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court asking for a stay based on serious questions surrounding the drugs the State plans to use in tonight’s execution. Below is a statement from attorneys for Mr. Yowell.

Statement from Attorneys for Michael Yowell

“Today, we have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to ensure that our the public and the courts have meaningful access to relevant information regarding how the State of Texas plans to put to death our client, Michael Yowell. In this case, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice did not reveal information about the drug it intended to use for his execution until one week before the scheduled execution date.

‘In carrying out Mr. Yowell’s execution, the state of Texas intends to use compounded penobarbital, for the first time.  This shift to compounded drugs is a dramatic change from prior practice – making the need for oversight – now and in the future – that much more important.

‘To permit the TDCJ to wait until the last minute to disclose such crucial information essentially shields them from any review, allowing it to make decisions about how to execute people without any accountability or transparency.  Surely this is not the way we want our government to carry out its gravest duty.”

Maurie Levin and Bobbie Stratton, October 9, 2013 

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Contact:

Maurie Levin, maurielevin@gmail.com

512-294-1540

Bobbie Stratton of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell

bstratton@bakerdonelson.com

713-650-9700