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Florida judge rules Diaz execution 'painless, humane'

[JURIST] A Florida Fifth Judicial Circuit [official website] judge ruled Monday that the December 2006 execution [JURIST report] of Angel Diaz [AI profile; JURIST news archive] was not "botched," as previously alleged by a medical examiner. According to autopsy reports, Diaz endured a 34-minute-long lethal injection that required a second injection after needles were improperly inserted into his arm. In his opinion, Circuit Judge Carven Angel concluded that Diaz died within a reasonable period of time following injection of the drugs, and his death was "painless and humane." Angel's ruling came in the case of Lightbourne v. State of Florida [docket], a lethal injection challenge arising out of the Diaz execution. Angel ruled that the stay of execution can now be lifted for death row inmate Ian Deco Lightbourne, arguing that the Florida Department of Corrections [official website] has taken appropriate measures to correct "irregularities" arising out of Diaz's execution. The Florida Supreme Court [official website] has yet to consider the issue; oral arguments in the Lightbourne case are scheduled for October 11.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush [official profile] suspended all executions in the Florida in December following Diaz's execution and appointed a commission to study Florida's lethal injections procedures [PDF text]. Florida Governor Charlie Crist [official profile] officially ended the state's temporary suspension on executions [JURIST report] in July. AP has more. The St. Petersburg Times has local coverage.

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