Florida panel recommends changes to lethal injection procedures

[JURIST] A Florida commission convened to investigate the botched December execution [JURIST report] of Angel Diaz [AI profile] determined Thursday that more oversight is necessary to ensure inmates are properly sedated before execution. Currently Florida uses the chemicals sodium pentothal, pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride [Wikipedia backgrounders], to sedate, paralyze and kill inmates. According to the testimony of an anesthesiologist, if an inmate is improperly sedated they may experience agonizing pain as they die without the ability to display it. The commission recommended to Florida Gov. Charlie Crist [official profile] that the state find "less problematic" alternative chemicals that have less potential to fail. The commission also recommended monitoring executions via closed circuit cameras, stationing an additional law enforcement official to act as an observer, and for executioners to maintain radio communication with the supervising warden.

Former Governor Jeb Bush suspended all Florida executions in December and appointed this commission to investigate Florida's lethal injection procedures [PDF] after Diaz's botched execution. Last week a Maryland judge temporarily suspended executions [JURIST report] until the status of the death penalty within the state was resolved. AP has more.



 

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