Florida Halts Executions After Botched One Lasted 34 Minutes

Florida Governor Jeb Bush has ordered all Florida executions be suspended after the state botched the execution of Angel NievesDiaz which lasted 34 minutes.

Medical examiner Dr. William Hamilton said Wednesday's execution of Angel Nieves Diaz took 34 minutes — twice as long as usual — and required a rare second dose of lethal chemicals because the needles were inserted clear through his veins and into the flesh in his arms. The chemicals are supposed to go into the veins.

Hamilton, who performed the autopsy, refused to say whether he thought Diaz died a painful death.

And in California, a judge has ordered the states' executions be stopped declaring the system of lethal injection "broken."

More on Diaz:

Executions in Florida normally take no more than about 15 minutes, with the inmate rendered unconscious and motionless within three to five minutes. But Diaz appeared to be moving 24 minutes after the first injection, grimacing, blinking, licking his lips, blowing and appearing to mouth words.

As a result of the chemicals going into Diaz's arms around the elbow, he had an 12-inch chemical burn on his right arm and an 11-inch chemical burn on his left arm, Hamilton said.

Florida Corrections Secretary James McDonough said the execution team did not see any swelling of the arms, which would have been an indication that the chemicals were going into tissues and not veins.

Diaz's attorney, Suzanne Myers Keffler, reacted angrily to the findings.

"This is complete negligence on the part of the state," she said. "When he was still moving after the first shot of chemicals, they should have known there was a problem and they shouldn't have continued. This shows a complete disregard for Mr. Diaz. This is disgusting."

< Matt Drudge: Shill for Liberals? | California Judge Declares State Executions Unlawful >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    As much as I believe (none / 0) (#1)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Dec 15, 2006 at 05:47:42 PM EST
    losing the DP would be a bad move for our country, in no way can I countenance an execution method that causes undue pain and suffering.

    Good for FL and CA.

    SUO (none / 0) (#2)
    by Che's Lounge on Sat Dec 16, 2006 at 09:57:54 AM EST

    What would the consequences be if we abolished the DP?

    death penalty (none / 0) (#3)
    by diogenes on Sat Dec 16, 2006 at 10:26:31 AM EST
    Just because Willie Horton killed someone doesn't mean you end parole.  You fix the system that botched it.  
    To Che--go ahead and persuade the majority of the voters that the unbotched death penalty is a bad thing and it will disappear.  That's what democracy is all about.