Saturday, December 16, 2006


California and Florida step out of the dark ages.
SAN FRANCISCO - Faced with grim testimony of poorly trained executioners operating in cramped, dimly lit quarters, a federal judge declared California's execution procedure unconstitutional.

The state's "implementation of lethal injection is broken, but it can be fixed," U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel ruled Friday in San Jose, extending a moratorium on executions in the nation's most populous state.

The decision is the latest in a nationwide challenge to lethal injection — the preferred execution method in 37 states — and came as Florida Gov.
Jeb Bush suspended all executions there after a bungled execution this week. Missouri's injection method, which is similar to California's, was declared unconstitutional last month by a federal judge.
And this description of a "botched execution,"
Medical examiner Dr. William Hamilton said Diaz's execution took 34 minutes — twice as long as usual — and required a rare second dose of lethal chemicals because the needles were inserted clear through his veins and into the flesh in his arms. The chemicals are supposed to go into the veins.

...Missing a vein when administering the injections would cause "both psychological and physical discomfort — probably pretty severe," said Dr. J. Kent Garman, an emeritus professor of anesthesia at the Stanford School of Medicine in California.

An inmate would remain conscious for a longer period of time and would likely be aware of increased difficulty breathing and pain caused by angina, the interruption of blood flow to the heart, Garman said.
Gah. Pretty freaking creepy, if you ask me.

Let's hope this suspension is permanent.

(I'm unabashedly anti-death penalty, in case you didn't notice.)

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