He's Already in Hospice - Stop the Execution of Gerald Pizzuto Jr. in Idaho

Idaho Governor Brad Little & Idaho Pardons & Parole Commission

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UPDATE (May 18, 2021): Today the Board of Pardon and Parole voted to grant a hearing, which will be scheduled in the November session. The State stipulated to a stay of execution to allow the clemency process to go forward. The June 2 execution date is stayed! Please continue to sign this petition in case Mr. Pizzuto has a new execution date sat.

Gerald Pizzuto, Jr. WAS scheduled for execution in Idaho on June 2, 2021 for the 1985 murder of Berta Herndon and her nephew Del Herndon.

Gerald Pizzuto's attorney: "At 64, Mr. Pizzuto is a frail shell of the man he once was. He has stage 4 cancer and is approaching natural death. The idea that such a sick, feeble man presents enough of a danger to society that he must be executed is far-fetched."

You can read the clemency petition here (including horrific details about his childhood).

Pizzuto, 64, was sentenced to death in 1986 for the slaying of Berta Herndon, 58, and her 37-year-old nephew Del Herndon at a rural cabin.  Idaho has not had an execution since 2012 and as of May 10, 2021, remains unequipped with the necessary drugs necessary to conduct a lethal injection.

Photo at right is from The Guardian, as provided by Bruce Livingston
According to extensive reporting from reporters for The Marshall Project, For more than a year, the 65-year-old has been in hospice care on Idaho’s death row, suffering from advanced bladder tumors, along with type 2 diabetes, and a variety of heart and lung diseases. According to his defense team, he’s been prescribed 42 different drugs in the last year, and his medical records say he has “begun experiencing memory loss and mild disorientation associated with the death process”.

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Among mitigating factors, Pizzuto suffered horrific abuse as a Child. Again, from The Marshall Project reporting: According to his siblings, when Pizzuto was a child, his stepfather would frequently wake him up with a flashlight and hunting knife, take him to a garage, string him up with extension cords, rape him and charge other adult men up to $20 to rape him as well. The stepfather beat Pizzuto with a cattle prod, horse crop and 2x4, leaving him with brain damage.

“You could be asleep in your bed and be yanked out by your hair in the middle of the night and drug off,” his sister, Elsie Pizzuto, told a defense investigator.

Killing Gerald Pizzuto is both unnecessary and cruel. Further, asking state workers to carry out the execution of a prisoner so debilitated will undoubtedly leave them with lifelong burdens known to exist with other former executioners. Please sign this petition urging that the execution of Gerald Pizzuto, Jr.

Petitions will be delivered on your behalf weekly as we approach the execution date.

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To: Idaho Governor Brad Little & Idaho Pardons & Parole Commission
From: Judy Morris

We are writing to ask that you to stop the June 2, 2021 execution of Gerald Pizzuto, Jr. for his 1985 murder of Berta Herndon and her nephew Del Herndon. We can honor the memory of these people without an execution.

Killing Gerald Pizzuto is both unnecessary and cruel due to his current medical conditions. Pizzuto is currently in hospice care and has advanced bladder tumors, along with type 2 diabetes, and a variety of heart and lung diseases.

Further, asking state prison workers to carry out the execution of a prisoner so debilitated will undoubtedly leave them with lifelong burdens known to exist with other former executioners.

We are also concerned that executions during the pandemic have been proven to be COVID-19 super-spreader events, putting at risk all of the personal involved, their families and communities.

Finally, the vast majority of states with capital punishment continue on a downward trend of executions, and states continue to legislatively repeal death penalty statutes, including Virginia earlier this year. Idaho citizens have been kept safe for years without executions and there is no reason to resume killing prisoners now.

We, the undersigned, ask that you do everything within your power to stop this execution, including issuing a stay, and seeking a path to clemency in the case.

Thank you for time and attention to this urgent and serious matter.