Arkansas Executes Ledell Lee on 4/20

Arkansas State officials performed the lethal injection at 11:45 p.m., Thursday April 20. After being asked twice, Ledell Lee remorsefully declined to make a final statement. This is the states first execution since 2005, and took place at the Cummins Unit in Grady, where the state’s death chamber is located. Lee was officially deceased at 11:56 p.m. Central time, four minutes before his death warrant was due to expire. The entire process of Ledell’s death took eleven minutes, in which his legs, arms and head were strapped to a table with cloth covering the top of him.

In 1995 Lee was convicted of bashing Debra Reese to death with a tire iron and was sentenced to death. Members of Reese’s family attended Cummins Unit prison and told local media they believe Ledell deserves to die for committing an act of violent crime that tragically devastated their lives forever.

Lee had been hoping to be classified through diagnosis as having a disability or handicap such as fetal alcohol syndrome to help void himself from the death penalty. Lee’s attorneys have noted that he had long denied committing the murder,  and  was seeking newer DNA testing to help with proving his innocence. The U.S. Supreme court lifted the stay on his execution less than an hour before his death warrant had expired.

There are three more executions by lethal injection planned to take course next week, most likely Monday. The original plan is to have all eight of the men terminated before the lethal injection drugs expire. There has been protesting in Little Rock on this issue of the death penalty, especially with the “hurry up and execute before the last of our drug expires” type of motivation and energy floating around.

Hours before Ledell Lee passed, the Supreme Court just about halted his execution. Instead, a 5 to 4 vote allowed the state to press on with its plan, calling for the eight prisoners to be put to death in less than two weeks time. The court’s majority included the newest justice, Neil M. Gorsuch.  Justice Stephen Breyer took more of the unjust attitude on how Arkansas wrote its execution schedule, which was persuaded by the approaching expiration of midazolam.

For the current Arkansas lethal injection concoction, Cummins Unit uses midazolam to cause initial heavy sedation, vecuronium bromide to cancel out breathing ability, and finally potassium chloride to shut the heart off and make you dead.  McKesson Pharmaceuticals has reported that it sold its drug to the state of Arkansas for ‘medical purposes only’ because of the harsh repercussions that could fall in place if their name was connected to lethal injection. Midazolam has been linked to earlier recorded botched executions from the past two years. Current analytics point to this drug inducing ineffective levels of unconsciousness prior to the administration of the second and third sequential drugs.

An American Civil Liberties Union petition stated “Arkansas wants to use an execution drug combination – with midazolam – that’s never been used before in the state and that risks making prisoners feel as if they are burning alive from the inside while paralyzed”. Anti-death penalty activists have been protesting in Arkansas against what has been labelled “assembly line killings”. Aside from Lee, the seven death row inmates and their age include Bruce Ward 60, Don William Davis 54, Stacey Johnson 47, Jack Harold Jones 52, Marcel Williams 46, Jason McGehee 40, and Kenneth Willams 38.

Neurosurgery, Epilepsy, Cannabidiol, Alternative Treatments · Uncategorized

Two Epilepsy Treatments

  When many think of epilepsy they think seizures, which in a nutshell, is exactly what the disease is about. The difference between the two is that seizures are a singular occurrence where as epilepsy is defined as two or more unprovoked seizures. There are just over forty different types of seizures in today’s world. Some of the earlier historical descriptions of the disease include Hippocrates describing it as “the sacred disease”, and Shakespeare defined it as “the falling disease”. Pharmaceutical medicine as well as surgical procedures have been options for treatments for awhile and continue to be used for many sufferers today. There are individual epileptic cases where these treatments just won’t work and finding an alternative elixir becomes a pursuit.
   One breakthrough treatment, fitting for the technological age we live in, is called Responsive Neurostimulation System, or RNS. A Californian company named NeuroPace is responsible for the design and creation of this system. Over a thousand people in America have experienced major enhancements in their quality of life by allowing this technology to enter their brain. A neurostimulator is placed in a persons skull after the neurosurgeon positions the leads of this device at the source of the seizure. This instrument has been compared to cardiac pacemakers because it detects and delivers through electronic devices. Once the RNS device is properly implanted in a patients head, it is designed to progressively monitor brain activity. It is set up to identify and record patterns that can produce seizures. The system will administer short pulses of electricity that will disrupt the aberrant brain activity before a seizure develops. Patients also receive a 24 hour remote monitor with unique software that wirelessly compiles data from the implant, and relays it to a database. Physicians can then analyze information on each patients progress and seizure status. Responsive Neurostimulation System is the only medical device that is smart enough to react to what’s happening in a patients brain to stop seizures at their source. RNS serves as a milestone for the remedy of medically resistant epilepsy, rendering a substitution to surgery.
   Another alternative for people with epilepsy that do not respond well to medicine or are ineligible for surgery is cannabis. Evidence from lab studies and small clinical studies propose that cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound of weed, will presumably be helpful in governing seizures. Organizing and managing studies can be challenging as researchers have confined admittance to marijuana due to federal regulations. Encounters of cannabis’s potentiality to alleviate seizures have been seen and talked about for over a century, but enthusiasm in medical marijuana has heightened in the last fifteen to twenty years. Scientists have begun to spotlight the budding benefits of CBD. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which has more of the crazy dreamy effects, CBD doesn’t really induce euphoric states nor cognitive impairment as much. Studies have shown that cannabidiol can act as an anticonvulsant as well as an antipsychotic effect for some. In general, about a third of the patients who have been involved in studies involving cannabidiol have had beneficial improvements. Typically the improvements are seen in the patients motor skills.  Although its not for every case, some conclude that more testing and experimenting with different plant strains correlation to the different types of epileptic seizures may be rewarding.

Will Ink Go Extinct

scarlee phoneAll across global communities, the majority of children of all ages are  exposed to the capabilities the internet has provided man. Many schools have been using the internet as a learning tool for kids for quite some time now. Starting at around age 10 to 12, possessing a borrowed school laptop for classroom purposes has possibly become a norm. With the reality of social media being a huge vehicle for younger and older people to communicate, we forget that this vehicle is essentially what we learn from. From news headlines to short instructional videos, the evolution of learning through a computer or phone has been slowly taking the place of books and teachers.

Computers and smart phones each have a screen which generates light through electricity. While absorbing images and letters through digital light, our thumbs and fingers seem to be the new era’s speaking tools. More often than not people will claim or state that so-in-so said this or that, when in reality there was no physical speaking involved. Observing other people’s lives and what they type and post has become a popular worldwide hobby.  One may be inspired to use his/her camera to capture their own image to then put words with. The cycle of taking self images with instant access to observe has helped drive many web design models into wealth, and will probably push some camera shops out of business. Examples of these types of repercussions from digital revolution will continue to pop up.

The next generation of people, born near the turn of the century, have had digitalism near and around them most of their lives. Will this push more high school graduates to levitate towards a career within the world-wide web. Will the trades such as carpenters, painters, mechanics, and farmers become a slightly more unattractive career choice. Because our world is always changing and advancing it is good to think about the future and how the children of 2017 are shaping it. Currently in the America, the average age a kid gets a smartphone is 10.3 years old. The elderly of today are also a lot more familiar with computers and the web than they were ten years ago. This being said, our world is being consumed with Wi-Fi signals.

Todays teachings of the real world can be shown through digital screens.  Deciding how to coach the youth of our time about digitalism is just one focal point. New site and app ideas will continue to surface. Some may argue that the more we use our keyboards to communicate, the less our vocal social skills will be exercised. The web is a medium for almost all and has been continuously blowing up for 20 years.  Will reading physical books and writing with pencils and pens gradually dim out? Time shall tell.