Terence Lenamon presented the defense’s opening statement in the death penalty trial of State of Florida v. Markeith Loyd today, and you can watch Terry’s opening via this YouTube capture of the live courtroom proceedings (Terry begins at the 14:33 mark, immediately after the state’s opening statement):
Yesterday, the Law & Crime Network announced on Twitter that it will be covering the Death Penalty Trial of Florida v. Markeith Loyd.
Twitter Announcement of Live Coverage
Where Loyd Trial Can Be Seen Live
This week, Terry Lenamon continues work in the courtroom as jury selection continues in the Markeith Loyd trial. It’s reported that picking a jury will take several weeks. Part of the reason it will take so long is because the judge has ruled that the jury will be sequestered during the trial.
What is Jury Sequestration?
Jury sequestration involves the trial judge ordering that the jurors (once selected) be protected from things that might impact their decision-making outside of what they will hear as evidence in the courtroom as the trial proceeds, or after both sides have rested and the case is sent to the jury for deliberations. The jurors do not pay for this; the government underwrites the expense. This can involve not only their stay in a private hotel room, but providing protection at all times, and periodic field trips to help morale as time passes. Jurors are allowed limited visits or conversations with their loved ones, and they do not get unlimited access to the internet since that might reveal something outside of trial evidence which could influence their decision. Potential jurors who would be harmed by being sequestered (hardship) are not required to be sequestered (this is the judge’s decision).
Examples of Sequestered Juries
Three well-known past criminal cases involving sequestered juries include the O.J. Simpson criminal trial; the Casey Anthony trial; and the Bill Cosby case. It is said the Simpson trial involved the longest time for a jury to be sequestered, at 265 days.
The federal government has announced it will begin executions again this year using a single drug, pentobarbital, as its lethal injection method. The source of that pentobarbital is not known, but many assume it will come from a supplier being used by many other states for their lethal injection protocols: the “compounding pharmacy.” For details, read “Why the Justice Department’s Plan to Use a Single Drug for Lethal Injections Is Controversial,” written by Joshua Bates and published by TIME on July 29, 2019.
Lethal Injection Methods: The Drugs Are an Issue
Different states choose different formulas for their lethal injection executions. The Death Penalty Information Project has a nice chart that provides details.
For many, the focus here has been on the drugs themselves and how horrific their use can be — alone, or in tandem with other drugs in the execution “cocktail.” And that’s a valid concern.
Lethal Injection Methods: The Source of the Drugs Is A Separate Concern
Here’s another one: the supplier of these lethal injection drugs is not regulated as are the big drug companies. Compounding pharmacies are becoming more and more popular in this country as a source of the deadly drugs needed for official killings. Safety guidelines may or may not be followed by compounding pharmacies with horrific consequences.
To learn more about the problem of compounding pharmacies — both for government executions and generally as a source for health care services, as well — watch the informative and terrifying video from HBO – Last Week Tonight’s John Oliver on YouTube (click on the image to view):
For those following the ongoing death penalty trial of Markeith Loyd in Florida, the following four court filings by Terence Lenamon, attorney for the defense, have been uploaded into Terry Lenamon’s Online Library as a public service:
Death Penalty Trial: Motion Regarding Metal Detectors; read the full text of the motion as filed of record here:
Other court filings by the defense for Markeith Loyd include:
- Motion to Compel Non-Encoded Videos from Law Enforcement
- Motion Opposing Sequestering of Jurors
- Notice of Continued Testing and Evaluation by Experts and Request to Stay Disclosure of Raw Data and Other Testing Until Completion of Testing .
Click on the above links to read these filings in their entirety.
States may overwhelmingly choose the lethal injection method of execution these days, but that doesn’t mean that the same procedure is followed or the same drugs are used. Consider and compare the drugs, and drug combinations, used in executions as compiled by the Death Penalty Information Center in its State by State Lethal Injection Protocols Table. (Note the Florida protocol has been updated since this table was created.)
2019 Florida Execution Protocol: 3 Drugs in Lethal Injection Cocktail
As of February 2019, the State of Florida execution protocol involves the following (go here to read the full Lethal Injection Protocol submitted to the Governor of Florida by the Florida Department of Corrections) insofar as the preparation of the fatal drugs:
Four Syringes are Prepared with Three Drugs and Saline Solution
(f) A designated execution team member, in the presence of one or more additional team members and an independent observer from FDLE, will prepare the lethal injection chemicals as follows, ensuring that each syringe used in the lethal injection process is appropriately labeled, including the name of the chemical contained therein:
(1) Etomidate injection: A sterile, disposable sixty cubic centimeter (60cc) syringe and needle will be used to draw fifty milliliters (50mls) of etomidate injection 2mg/ml from one or more vials containing same, for a total of one hundred milligrams (100mg) of etomidate injection. The syringe will then be fitted with an eighteen (18) gauge, one (1) inch, blunt cannula (tube), clearly labeled with the number one (1), and placed in the first slot on a stand designed to hold eight (8) such syringes in separate slots. The stand will be clearly labeled with the letter “A.” This process will be repeated with a second syringe, which will be clearly labeled with a number two (2) and placed in the second slot on stand “A.”
Two additional syringes will be drawn in the same manner, fitted with the blunt cannula, and clearly labeled with the numbers one ( 1) and two (2), respectively. These two syringes will be placed in the first two slots on a second stand that has been clearly labeled with the letter “B.” All materials used to prepare these syringes will be removed from the work area and discarded pursuant to state and federal law.
(2) Rocuronium bromide injection: A sterile, disposable sixty cubic centimeter (60cc) syringe wi11 be used to draw five hundred milligrams (500mg) of rocuronium bromide injection from one or more vials containing same. The syringe will then be fitted with an eighteen (18) gauge, one (I) inch, blunt cannula (tube). This procedure will be repeated until there are four (4) syringes, each containing five hundred milligrams (500mg) of rocuronium bromide injection, for a total oftwo thousand milligrams (2000mg). Two syringes will be clearly labeled with the numbers four (4) and five (5), respectively, and placed into slots four (4) and five (5) on stand “A.” This procedure will be repeated with the other two syringes, each of which will be fitted with a blunt cannula, labeled appropriately and placed in slots four (4) and five (5), respectively, on stand “B.” All materials used to prepare these syringes wi11 be removed from the work area and discarded pursuant to state and federal law.
(3) Potassium acetate injection: A sterile, disposable sixty cubic centimeter (60cc) syringe will be used to draw one hundred twenty milliequivalents (120mEq) of potassium acetate injection from one or more vials containing same. The syringe will then be fitted with an eighteen (18) gauge, one (1) inch blunt cannula (tube). This procedure will be repeated until there are four (4) syringes, each containing one hundred twenty milliequivalents (120mEq) of potassium acetate injection, for a total of four hundred eighty ( 480) milliequivalents. Two syringes will be clearly labeled with the numbers seven (7) and eight (8), respectively, and placed into slots seven (7) and eight (8) on stand “A.” This procedure will be repeated with the other two syringes, each of which will be fitted with a blunt cannula, labeled appropriately, and placed in slots seven (7) and eight (8), respectively, on stand “B.” All materials used to prepare these syringes will be removed from the work area and discarded pursuant to state and federal law.
(4) Saline solution: A sterile, disposable twenty cubic centimeter (20cc) syringe will be used to draw twenty milliliters (20ml) of sterile saline solution from one or more vials containing same. This procedure will be repeated until there are four (4) syringes, each containing twenty milliliters (20ml) of sterile saline solution, for a total of eighty (80) milliliters. Each syringe will then be fitted with an
eighteen (18) gauge, one (1) inch, blunt cannula (tube). Two syringes will be clearly labeled with the numbers three (3) and six (6), respectively, and placed into slots three (3) and six (6) on stand “A.” This procedure will be repeated with the other two syringes, each of which will be p1aced in slots three (3) and six (6), respectively, on stand “B.” All materials used to prepare these syringes
will be removed from the work area and discarded pursuant to state and federal law.
Syringes Transported to Executioner’s Room
(g) The execution team member who has prepared the lethal chemicals will transport them personally, in the presence of one or more additional members of the execution team, to the executioner’s room. Stand “A” will be placed on the worktop for use by the primary executioner, to be used during the execution by lethal injection. Stand “B” will be placed on a shelf underneath the worktop within easy reach of the executioners should they be needed during the execution. Stand “B” will not be used unless expressly ordered to be used by the team warden. The lethal chemicals will remain secure until the executioners arrive. No one other than the executioners will have access to the lethal chemicals, unless a stay is granted, in which case the execution team member who
prepared the lethal chemicals will retrieve them from the locked room and dispose of them according to state and federal law.
Terry Lenamon continues his death penalty defense in the capital case involving Markeith Loyd, a case that is being followed closely by the Florida news media. Markeith Loyd stands accused of two homicides, one his ex-girlfriend (Sade Dixon) and the other, Orlando police officer Debra Clayton. The State of Florida is seeking the death penalty in both cases.
It is a case that has been a media focus since December 2016 when there was a nine day “manhunt” by Central Florida law enforcement for Markeith Loyd. See, “Timeline: How the hunt and capture of Markeith Loyd unfolded: Search began with pregnant woman’s murder,” written by Adrienne Cutway and published by WKMG Click Orlando.
Markeith Loyd Trial Dates
The trial regarding the Sade Dixon homicide is set to begin soon (in September 2019). The Debra Clayton trial is set for May 2020.
The defense motion that the two trials be combined into a single trial has been denied. For more, read “Lawyers for Markeith Loyd want to combine killings of Debra Clayton, Sade Dixon into 1 case,” written by Jeff Weiner and published by the Orlando Sentinel on August 5, 2019.
Judge Leticia Marques has set a pre-trial hearing for September 3, 2019, where attorneys for both sides must present a full witness list.
Markeith Loyd Competency Hearing
Terry Lenamon moved for Markeith Loyd to have a mental health evaluation because of concerns regarding his competency to stand trial. This motion was denied by the trial judge.
For more, see “Judge denies request to combine Markeith Loyd murder trials: Accused killer recently completed mental evaluation” wirtten by Adrienne Cutway and Emilee Speck and published by WKMG ClickOrlando on August 23, 2019.
- Death Penalty Defense Motions Filed August 2, 2019 in State of Florida v. Markeith Loyd (Capital Case)
- Loyd Hearing: Defense Seeks to Stop State of Florida’s Use Evidence of Other Crimes, Wrongs, or Acts (Full Text)
- Markeith Loyd Death Penalty Trial: Motion to Put Things On Hold Because JAC Has No More Money
- Petition for Writ of Prohibition in Markeith Loyd v State of Florida
There may be some who are offended a bit by John Oliver’s discourse in this video (it’s HBO, after all), but his discussion of the current lethal injection method of execution in this country is so important that hopefully, those folk will still watch through to the very end.
He’s right on point about this: injecting humans with these drugs in order to kill them is not the peaceful send-off that much of the general public assumes it to be. Particularly important in view of the active execution schedule right now in this country (for details, check out the Upcoming Execution Schedule maintained by the Death Penalty Information Center).
Click on the image to watch on YouTube:
Terence Lenamon has filed the following three motions in the Markeith Loyd death penalty trial. No hearing date as yet. For more information, see “Markeith Loyd seeks to combine murder trials, delay trial start to April,” written by Emelee Speck and published by ClickOrlando on August 2, 2019:
Surely prosecutors who seek the death penalty as part of their job must be proponents of capital punishment, right? Well, maybe not. Out of Arizona comes a memoir from an experienced prosecutor named Rick Unklesbay.
For over 35 years, Mr. Unklesbay has sat at the state’s table in the courtroom, prosecuting serious felonies and homicide cases. He has successfully sent 16 defendants to Arizona’s Death Row. Today, he is in charge of a state task force investigating possible wrongful convictions.
And Rick Unklesbay argues against capital punishment and the government seeking the death penalty.
His book, Arbitrary Death: A Prosecutor’s Perspective on the Death Penalty, was published in May 2019 by Wheatmark, Inc., and is available in both paperback and e-book at Amazon.com.
For more on this new book, read the interview and coverage provided by KVOA-TV in “Prosecutor writes book on death penalty,” written by Lupita Morrillo and published on June 25, 2019.
Prosecutor’s Arguments Against the Death Penalty
From the publisher: “Arbitrary Death: A Prosecutor’s Perspective on the Death Penalty is an insider’s view from someone who has spent decades prosecuting murder cases and who now argues that the death penalty doesn’t work and our system is fundamentally flawed.
“With a rational, balanced approach, Unklesbay depicts cases that represent how different parts of the criminal justice system are responsible for the arbitrary nature of the death penalty and work against the fair application of the law. The prosecution, trial courts, juries, and appellate courts all play a part in what ultimately is a roll of the dice as to whether a defendant lives or dies.
“Arbitrary Death is for anyone who wonders why and when its government seeks to legally take the life of one of its citizens. It will have you questioning whether you can support a system that applies death as an arbitrary punishment — and often decades after the sentence was given.”