Increasing Usage of Pepper Gas on Texas Death Row sign now

Increasing Usage of Pepper Gas on Texas Death Row
A Disguised Method of Torture and Human Degradation Under Disguise of Security.

We, the petitioners, wish to express our deepest concern over the fact that numerous inmates have been claiming excessive use of pepper spray against death sentenced, defenseless inmates by correctional officers on Texas Death Row Livingston, TX. More and more often, pepper gas is being used as a retaliation tool against inmates of the correctional officers dislike, instead of strictly as tool to get a threatening situation under control. Use of Pepper Spray is a potentially lethal practice. It is a suspension of the active ingredient pepper, usually compressed by air in a canister suitable for spraying, and correction staff in some states as a means of violent behaviour control. The reality is that pepper gas is not only being used to control violent behaviour and to maintain control, but more and more often, especially the latest year, as retaliation tool against inmates of correction officers dislike.
The active ingredient in pepper spray is capsaicin is an alkaloid, familiar to the world as the spice pepper. It is an irritant to the lining of the windpipe and food pipe, causing an intense burning sensation, and in the eyes acute and severe pain. as well as swelling of the tissues which can be quite fatal. On exposure, the eyes tend to close reflexively, and start to tear profusely.
The skin is also sensitive to pepper spray, causing severe blistering in sensitive people. Pure pepper can cause severe burning. When pepper is aspirated in sufficient quantities, it can cause acute respiratory failure, and death due to either swelling or spasm of the windpipe. In a crowd or prison environment, the person subjected to the spray is an unknown quantity to the sprayer, and the damage caused by the spray is unpredictable, and may be out of proportion to the amount sprayed. In susceptible people, death can result, either from the spray it self, or in conjunction with drugs -- legal or illegal -- or chronic disease.
Just recently, inmate Britt A. Ripkowski # 999325, on Death Row in Texas, who is suffering from Bi-Polar Disorder, was being subjected to systematic and repeated pepper spraying to the extent that he is believed to be suffering so serious damage that he was on July 6th moved from Death Row in Livingston to the Jester IV Unit. This is a unit particularly for prisoners with serious mental problems. Britt has been suffering from Bi-Polar for many years. It is very easy to subject mentally ill or mentally disabled prisoners for such degrading treatment, since they are in many cases not even aware of what a correctional officer can do legally and what they cannot. There is an increasing fear that pepper gas is being used more easily against the weakest of the weak the mentally challenged prisoners, than anyone else.
The prisoners we are referring to in this petition are already sentenced to death. It is not in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice mandate to torture these prisoners, but to keep the prisoners until the day comes when they are either released or murdered by the state. The situation as it is today, is that these inmates are being systematically and repeatedly subjected to the torture of pepper gassing, which was once meant as a tool to subdue, and to maintain order, but never as a retaliation tool used against inmates on the whim of the correctional officers or as a retaliatory tool against defenceless inmates. Which reflects the present situation.
This admission comes only months after Amnesty International condemned the usage of pepper spray for any reason citing its use as an unreasonable use of force.
Additionally, The San Francisco federal appeals court ruled on May 4th of 2000, that the use of Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) spray (also known as pepper spray) may in some circumstances constitute an unconstitutionally unreasonable use of force. Amnesty International has repeatedly stressed that due to the risks associated with pepper spray, its use is questionable under any circumstance. In addition to the above-mentioned problems with pepper spray, it should be in the authorities interest to know that Amnesty International is renewing its call on the US federal authorities to establish an independent nationwide review of the use of OC spray by law enforcement and correctional agencies.
It should not be up to the inmates at Terrell Unit to bring the over-use of potentially lethal pepper spray to the attention of the citizens of the rest of the world. The Governor must take it upon himself to call for the end of pepper spray usage, and at the least, implement strict guidelines and controls for its usage as suggested by both the UN and Amnesty International. It is not acceptable that regular use of psychological terror far beyond the intended use as an occasional tool.
It is time for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice leadership and Governor Rick Perry to offer sufficient education and training to all correction officers. As a profession, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice should demand their officers be armed with skilled professional qualifications, and not rely on the use of pepper spray and other suppression tools to maintain order.
The Governor must take it upon himself to call for the end of peppers spray usage immediately. We demand no less than that these inmates, who have already been sentenced to death, be treated respectfully and that this torturous, horrendous and cowardly usage of pepper spray as retaliation against defenceless inmates comes to an end immediately. Additionally, an investigation by an independent party must be conducted to find out what happened to inmate Britt Allen Ripkowski # 999325 presently residing on Jester IV Unit.
We hereby demand that this mentally ill inmate would be protected against this horrendous torture for the future!

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Goal
650 / 1000

Latest Signatures

  • 19 December 2015650. Andreas R
    I support this petition
  • 16 December 2015649. Bonnie C
    Using this gas has become a playtime for the guards.
  • 09 December 2015648. Stefan K
    I support this petition
  • 08 December 2015647. Fabio D
    I support this petition
  • 17 November 2015646. Valrie M
    (France)
  • 09 November 2015645. Elena M
    I support this petition
  • 30 October 2015644. Barry F
    I support this petition
  • 28 October 2015643. Sherlina N
    I support this petition
  • 14 October 2015642. Mary R
    I support this petition
  • 12 October 2015641. Sarah B
    I support this petition
  • 12 October 2015640. Leah G
    I support this petition
  • 25 September 2015639. Richard B
    for pepper spraying
  • 30 August 2015638. Tammy K
    I support this petition
  • 30 August 2015637. Emma P
    Stockholm, Sweden
  • 28 August 2015636. Linda H
    i was an inmate at the gatesville unit and i also was subjected to this on a regular basis
  • 19 August 2015635. Babette S
    I support this petition
  • 12 August 2015634. Maayke D
    from the netherlands
  • 27 July 2015633. Christian Kaufmannceol
    IS THAT THE WAY YOU WANT TO TEACH INMATES HOW TO TREAT HUMAN BEINGS!?!
  • 19 July 2015632. Joey G
    I support this petition
  • 17 July 2015631. Sandra L
    I support this petition
  • 11 July 2015630. Cynthia G
    I support this petition
  • 09 July 2015629. Martha M
    I support this petition
  • 09 July 2015628. Abby H
    I support this petition
  • 28 June 2015627. Marga H
    I support this petition
  • 21 June 2015626. Manon Vandenb
    Please, start using the brains with common sense instead of gas or the lethal injection.
  • 08 June 2015625. Nikolai G
    I support this petition
  • 22 May 2015624. Chad D
    I support this petition

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Stacie SheltonBy:
Justice, rights and public orderIn:
Petition target:
Texas Department of Criminal Justice & Governor of Texas, Rick Perry

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