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Florida death row inmate asks state high court to rehear lethal injection decision

[JURIST] Florida death row inmate Ian Deco Lightbourne [docket] on Monday asked the state supreme court to reconsider its decision last week that Florida's revised lethal injection protocols do not constitute cruel and unusual punishment [JURIST report] in violation of the US Constitution. The Florida Supreme Court issued two decisions last week in challenges filed by Lightbourne and fellow death row inmate Mark Dean Schwab [decisions, PDF], but in his petition for a rehearing Monday, Lightbourne argued that the Florida Department of Corrections [official website] has not properly addressed the fact that trained medical professionals do not monitor the administration of lethal injections. Schwab's execution is currently scheduled for November 15; he has applied for a stay of execution, but the Florida Supreme Court has not yet ruled on his motion.

Then-Florida Governor Jeb Bush suspended all executions in the state [JURIST report] last December after a medical examiner said that the execution earlier that month of Angel Diaz [Amnesty profile] was botched. Diaz endured a 34-minute-long execution as a result of the improper insertion of needles during the first injection. The ban was lifted [JURIST report] in July after revised lethal injection protocols were put in place.

At the national level, the US Supreme Court will consider this term a challenge to Kentucky's lethal injection procedures. Several constitutional challenges to lethal injection [JURIST news archive] have arisen across the country in recent months, mainly focusing on an argument that the first drug administered in a commonly used three-drug mixture [DPIC backgrounder] fails to make the inmate fully unconscious, thereby making the inmate feel excruciating pain when a heart-stopping drug is injected. AP has more.

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