OK Denies Murderer’s Spiritual Advisor in Death Chamber

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections has denied a condemned murderer’s request to have his spiritual advisor with him in the death chamber during his execution Thursday.  Sean Murphy of the Associated Press reports that Rev. Jeff Hood of Arkansas will not be allowed to be with double-murderer Scott Eizember during the lethal injection process because of his multiple arrests for anti-death penalty outbursts.  Attorneys representing Eizember filed a lawsuit Monday to stop the execution until Hood is allowed in the death chamber.  They cite the U.S. Supreme Court’s March 2022 ruling in Ramirez v. Collier which announced that state’s were required to allow a murderer’s spiritual advisor to be physically present in the death chamber.  Whether this requirement includes allowing anti-death penalty activists who may use the execution as a protest opportunity is yet to be determined.  UPDATE:  Oklahoma relented and allowed Rev. Hood to be in the death chamber as Eizember was executed yesterday, as reported by CBS News.

There is no question about Eizember’s guilt or the brutality of his crimes.  The 10th Circuit’s September 2015 decision denying his various claims on habeas corpus describes an habitual violent criminal seeking revenge.  Eizember left a Tulsa jail for a violation a protective order determined to punish his ex-girlfriend Kathy Biggs for turning him in.  He broke into the house across the street from Biggs home, found a shotgun there and waited for her to return home.  The elderly couple who owned the house returned to find Eizember holding them at gunpoint.  The husband tried to wrestle the shotgun from Eizember and during the struggle the gun fired, killing the woman.  Eizember recovered gun and beat the husband to death with it.  Eizember then headed across the street to  Biggs’ home.  Her son saw him coming and tried to escape but Eizember shot him in the back.  When the boy’s grandmother appeared, Eizember beat her with the shotgun.  He escaped and hid in the woods for over a week.  Eleven days later Eizember  was picked by Dr. Sam Peebles and his wife while hitchhiking.  Once in the car Eizember pulled a handgun and ordered the couple to drive him to Texas.  Hours later, during a roadside break in Texas, Dr. Peebles pulled his own gun and shot Eizember, who then wrestled the gun away and beat Dr. Peebles with it.  He then tried to shoot the wife but after the gun misfired he beat her with it and ran off.  He was later arrested at a convenience store.

It will be interesting to see if a judge will be willing to delay this murderer’s execution because an anti-death penalty activist cannot hold his hand during his well-deserved execution.