10 Maggio 2021 :
Idaho will execute an Italian American with terminal cancer: Gerald Ross Pizzuto
Pizzuto, now 65, was sentenced to death on May 1986 for the July 26, 1985 double murder of Berta Herndon, 58, and her nephew Del Herndon, 37. At the time of his arrest, Pizzuto was also sought in connection with two Seattle homicides. Rita Drury, age 51, had been shot to death on March 16, 1985, and 31-year-old John Jones was gunned to death in his bed, two weeks later. Robbery was suspected as a motive in both slayings, and warrants had been issued naming Pizzuto as the gunman.
The execution, the 1st in nearly 9 years in Idaho, was scheduled for next June 2nd despite Pizzuto having end-stage bladder cancer and other chronic diseases including diabetes.
The non-profit journalistic project The Marshall Project, which deals with controversial criminal justice cases, denounced his situation by pointing out that the man has been prescribed 42 different drugs in the last year and the level of suffering suffered is already very substantial. Over the past year, his lawyers have reported constant episodes of memory loss and some of general disorientation.
On appeal, Pizzuto’s lawyers tried to play the mental disability card In 2019, the 9th US Court of Appeals stated that the accused had failed to prove this type of disability.
The case of Pizzuto, according to The Marshall Project, raises the question relating to the costs associated with executions in America since, as in the case of Pizzuto, the probable death of the condemned would come soon and for natural causes. Pizzuto and another death row inmate, Thomas Eugene Creech, have sued the state over what they say is a lack of information in the Department of Correction’s execution protocol.
Under the state’s “Standard Operating Procedure” plan for executions, the correction director can revise the execution protocol at any time at his sole discretion.
Pizzuto’s legal team has said that makes it impossible for them to determine how the lethal injection drugs and procedures might violate their constitutional rights.
In the past, however, the Supreme Court has generally rejected this type of appeal.