Florida has temporarily suspended executions following a ruling earlier this week that a officials had botched the execution of Angel Nieves Diaz subjecting him to a prolonged and an apparently painful death
Florida’s state medical examiner, William Hamilton, said Diaz, 55, took twice as long to die as usual - 34 minutes - because prison officials punctured veins in his arms, which meant the toxic drugs entered the flesh instead of going directly into his bloodstream. Witnesses said Diaz appeared to grimace and mouth words. He also had 12-inch chemical burn on his right arm and an 11-inch burn on his left as a result of the drugs entering his flesh. Gobernor Jeb Bush has created an 11-member commission to study the administration of lethal injections, and suspended all executions until the report on March 1.
In addition a judge in California has ruled that that state's method of administering lethal injections risked violating constitutional bans on cruel and unusual punishment. The state has had a moratorium on executions since February but the ruling will probably mean that no execution will take place in the sate for the foreseeable future. "Implementation of lethal injection is broken" in California, said US district judge Jeremy Fogel in his ruling. But he added: "It can be fixed."
Mr Fogel ruled that the last six prisoners to be executed suffered excruciating deaths. He has ordered doctors to administer sedatives to the condemned, but no physicians have been willing to participate in executions
Execution by lethal injection was introduced across America during the 1990s to replace the use of the gas chamber and electric chair, reportedly because it was more humane and reliable. But concerns have grown about the use of lethal injection - especially after one of the chemicals used in the cocktail of three drugs was banned from veterinary use.
Here’s hoping that the moratorium in both states becomes permanent. also in Missouri which has also recently suspended the death penalty.