16 December 2006

Florida and California suspend the death penalty

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.

11 comments:

mullet said...

good...the death penalty is nothing more than an eye for an eye mentality

jams o donnell said...

Here's hoping it becomes a permanent thing, Mullet

roman said...

After hearing the details of the incredibly cruel and sick crime committed by the condemned, it should have been an hour instead of 34 minutes. I know, I know, it won't bring the victim back but it sure will make the next sicko contemplating murder think twice. Hmm, I wonder if those who administered the drugs also read those details? Just thinking out loud...

jams o donnell said...

I don't doubt the guy was a scumbag Roman, but even if his death took days I do doubt it would deter anyone from commiting the same crime.

mullet said...

so far, roman...death penalty...has never deterred anyone. maybe you are judging people by your own standards too much?

elasticwaistbandlady said...

I tend to agree with Roman on this one. I prefer to channel my compassion into focusing on the victims of such crimes.

Dave Marlow said...

I'm proud of my state for this. It's the only good thing that has happened down here for some time. You should hear the rightest critics; it's deafening. As Don Quixote said, "If the dogs are barking, it is because we are working."

jams o donnell said...

There are two issues here in my view: deterrence and punishment. Murder rates in retentionist states are generally higher than in abolitioist states. If it were a true deterrent it ought to be the other way round.

As a punishment, my gut feeling is often "string the bastard up" but I would rather them live a long miserable life.

I agree though that victims of crimedo deserve far more consideration than they all to often receive.

roman said...

mullet,

Believe it or not, I have as much regard for human life as any death penalty abolitionist but how can you say with such certainty that "so far, roman...death penalty...has never deterred anyone"?
My question to you: Not even one?
Even if it saves one innocent life, it's worth it.

jams o donnell said...

I would say though Roman is that you would expect states like Texas or California to have lower murder rates because of the death penalty but it is not generally the case.

mullet said...

i believe you roman...but at the same time, the death penalty is nothing more than paying homage to the old days.........eye for an eye etc.

if most want to say a big fuck off to religion, then why do people go back to that same old punishment? That's twisted....if we want to support the death penalty, then we also have to support the stoning of women?

delayed reply - no one replies to me boo hoo!