Florida Death Penalty News

Started by Jeff1857, November 02, 2007, 03:05:54 AM

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The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday denied a death row inmate's request to stay his execution, saying the state's lethal injection procedures are not cruel and unusual punishment.

The Florida Supreme Court rejected a death row inmates request to have his lethal injection stayed.

In a unanimous ruling, the justices denied Mark Schwab's request for relief on a variety of claims, including the lethal injection aspect.

Several states had halted executions beginning in 2005 amid concerns over the execution procedures.

Then-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush issued a moratorium in his state after complaints over the length of time needed to execute prisoner Angel Nieves Diaz.

It took 34 minutes for Diaz to die -- twice as long as usual.

A two-year review is now complete, and Schwab's would be the first execution in the state since the moratorium ended.

"We reject the conclusion that lethal injection as applied in Florida is unconstitutional," the justices wrote.

The decision allows Schwab's execution, scheduled for November 15, to proceed pending further appeals.

He was convicted of first degree murder, sexual battery of a child and kidnapping for the 1991 kidnapping and murder of 11-year-old Junny Rios-Martinez.

All 37 states with capital punishment use a three-drug mixture: an anesthetic, a muscle paralyzer and a heart-stopping substance. Death penalty opponents say if the inmate is not given enough anesthetic, he could suffer excruciating pain without being able to express that because of the paralyzer.

The Supreme Court of the United States has not ruled directly on the "cruel and unusual" aspect of lethal injection, but did conclude last year that prisoners can make last-ditch legal challenges to the method of execution, using claims they would suffer a painful death.  Watch the creator of the lethal injection cocktail say he blames 'political correctness' for call to review the execution system

After the U.S. high court agreed to hear Kentucky cases over the constitutionality of lethal injection, capital defendants have filed a flood of appeals seeking execution stays or new hearings.

The justices have stayed a number of pending executions, presumably until the larger constitutional questions surrounding the method of execution are settled. Oral arguments in the Kentucky cases will be held early next year.

I hope this scumbag child molester/killer goes down BUT the freakin Supremes will probably stay this one too. At least Florida is getting back on track though.  ;)


April 16, 2008, 10:28:34 PM Last Edit: May 26, 2008, 04:27:38 AM by Jeff1857
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida wasted little time trying to get executions back on track after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that Kentucky can continue using lethal injection to carry out the death penalty.

Attorney General Bill McCollum quickly sent paperwork to the U.S. Supreme Court asking for permission to go ahead with the execution of child killer Mark Dean Schwab, who the state was supposed to kill last November. Kentucky and Florida have nearly identical lethal injection procedures.

Gov. Charlie Crist immediately asked for a list so he can pick who among the state's worst killers should now prepare to die.

Crist will have plenty to choose from: There are 338 people on death row.

The governor said he wants a list of five or so death row inmates who have served the longest or committed the worst crimes so he can sign his second death warrant since taking office in January 2007.

"Justice delayed is justice denied and an awful lot of families of the victims have been waiting for justice to be done, and so that's certainly an important factor," Crist said. "But in addition, the heinous nature of the crime itself is important to consider."

Gary Alvord has been on death row the longest. Last week marked the 34th anniversary of his arrival there after being convicted of killing three Tampa-area women.

Schwab's case easily falls in the heinous category, and the governor will have to set a new date for his execution if the Supreme Court agrees Florida can resume lethal injections.

Schwab was supposed to be executed last November for raping and murdering 11-year-old Junny Rios-Martinez in 1991. The boy was strangled or suffocated. He received his stay just four hours before his scheduled procedure. His death was held up while the U.S. Supreme Court considered the Kentucky case.

McCollum said his belief that Florida's executions "are constitutionally sound has been upheld by the highest legal authority in the nation."

Last year was the first since 1982 that there wasn't an execution in Florida. Gov. Jeb Bush placed a moratorium on executions as Crist was getting ready to take office. Bush called for a study of lethal injection after it took twice as long as usual - 34 minutes - for convicted killer Angel Diaz, 55, to die in December 2006.

An investigation found the needles had been pushed through Diaz's veins into his flesh, reducing the drugs' effectiveness.

Corrections officials responded by ordering more training and monitoring of its execution team. The new procedures also include a delay after the first chemical, the anesthetic sodium pentothal, is injected to make sure an inmate is unconscious before the other drugs are administered.

The second chemical causes paralysis and the third stops the heart from beating, which can result in severe pain if a person is conscious.

Critics of the three-drug system say the paralyzing drug is unnecessary and prevents an inmate from showing any sign of pain. Some have advocated using only sodium pentothal because it also is lethal in large doses.

Crist lifted the moratorium when he signed Schwab's death warrant in July.

The Florida Supreme Court rejected arguments about lethal injections from Schwab this year. His lawyers said the state Corrections Department execution team botched two of five training sessions using recently adopted procedures.

Schwab's lawyers also contend that during the exercises, a Florida Department of Law Enforcement official who is supposed to monitor the mixing of lethal chemicals, was insufficiently trained.
Florida says Let's ride!!!!

ScoopD (aka: Pam)

I'm loving this state more and more!
<br /><br />If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. -Thomas Paine<br /><br />My reason for supporting capital punishment: My cousin 16 yr. old Amanda Greenwell was murdered in March of 2004 at the hands of serial killer Jeremy Bryan Jones.


April 17, 2008, 01:18:18 PM Last Edit: May 26, 2008, 04:28:56 AM by Jeff1857
I told you its a great state Pam.... ;-)

Im not sure if theres a hell, but I believe in executed murderers.


Only Florida's governors can say how they pick execution order . . . and they're not talking

Last month, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist decided it was time for John Marek and David Johnston to die.

Crist picked out Marek and Johnston from nearly two dozen death-row inmates whose appeals are exhausted. Exactly how he came to pick those 2 prisoners -- and why -- is a subject only the governor can answer.

He's not talking. And neither are former governors who have made similar decisions since Florida reinstated its death penalty in 1976.

"I don't know how they decide," said Marek's lawyer, Marty McClain, a veteran death-row attorney who has defended hundreds of inmates. "Over the years I have wanted to know the answer to that question."

Who would you pick to be executed next? Here's the list He's not alone. Johnston's attorney, Todd Doss has defended at least 2 dozen death-row inmates, and he asks this question in his latest effort to stop the inmate's execution.

"Mercy was extended to these other inmates and they were allowed to continue to live," he wrote in a 30-page motion filed in Orange circuit court. "The process can only be described as a lottery."

Florida gives the decision to initiate the state's ultimate punishment to the governor, who sets his own criteria in choosing the next to enter the death chamber. Other states, such as Texas, Georgia, Mississippi and California, places the responsibility on its court system..

There are 392 prisoners on death row. Since 1979, Florida has executed 67 inmates, including two women, for their crimes. And over the years the selection of these condemned has remained a mystery.

"It's the epitome of how arbitrary it is," said Elisabeth Semel, director of the Death Penalty Clinic at the University of California- Berkeley.

Chiles wanted to know case specifics

Former Gov. Lawton Chiles focused on where the cases stood on appeals, said Tallahassee attorney Tom Crapps, who monitored death penalty cases for Chiles from 1996-98.

If a case reached the point that all state and federal appeals were exhausted, Crapps would prepare it for the governor. He'd speak with the prisoner's attorney, asking about any other details the governor should know.

"I would read all the opinions written by the court," Crapps said.

Crapps would discuss the case with other attorneys in the governor's office. Then he'd meet with Chiles.

"It wasn't an easy process for anyone," he said.

"He would grill me about the case," Crapps recalled. "He wanted to know about the facts, the witnesses and evidence and issues raised on appeal."

During Chiles' 8-year- term, 18 prisoners -- including 1 woman -- were executed.

Jeb Bush leaned toward volunteers

As governor, Jeb Bush signed more than 2 dozen death warrants. Of those, 21 people were executed.

Defense attorneys say Bush seemed to lean toward volunteers, inmates who stopped appealing their cases. Killer Paul Hill, who was convicted to killing an abortion doctor and a clinic escort in Pensacola in 1994, volunteered for his September 2003 execution. 2 years later, Glen Ocha raised his hand to be executed for killing a Kissimmee woman in 1999.

University of Florida law professor Bob Dekle remembered getting a call from Bush's office when John Blackwelder -- the man Dekle prosecuted for tying up and killing another prisoner -- was up for execution after volunteering in May 2004.

Another prisoner confessed to the same crime, so Bush wanted to make sure Blackwelder was really the killer. A DNA test was done and confirmed Blackwelder's guilt before execution day.

Neither former Bush nor attorneys who worked for him responded to e-mails requesting interviews.

Martinez bogged down court system

Nobody signed more death warrants in Florida than former Gov. Bob Martinez. In 4 years (1987-91), Martinez set a record with 139 death warrants. Of those, only 9 executions were carried out.

Appellate courts delayed case after case in part because Martinez often signed death warrants on prisoners whose attorneys had yet to file appeals in federal court. His approach overwhelmed the court system, overburdening court-appointed defense attorneys who were forced to file a slew of motions to stop executions on cases that had appeals waiting, defense attorneys said.

"He wanted to keep pressure on defense attorneys," McClain said. "It was a really horrible experience."

Martinez said he doesn't comment about how he made he decisions.

"I just never had," he said when asked why. "It's a very hard thing to do . . . I won't make any comment on it."

Crist unable to discuss his process

In 2-plus years on the job, Crist has signed 5 death warrants. 3 have been carried out.

Mark Schwab, who kidnapped, raped and murdered 11-year-old Junny Rios-Martinez of Brevard County in 1991, was executed July 1.

Richard Henyard, who fatally shot sisters Jamilya Lewis, 7, and Jasmine Lewis, 3, after raping their mother in 1993 in Lake County, followed on Sept. 23.

And Wayne Tomkins, who murdered his girlfriend's daughter, 15-year Lisa DeCarr, of Tampa in 1983, was the 3rd on Feb. 11.

According to spokesman Sterling Ivey, Crist was unavailable to discuss his execution selection process. Ivey, however, said Crist considers:

- How heinous, atrocious and cruel the crime was.

- Who the victim was, whether a child, an elderly person or someone who had a relationship with the prisoner.

- Other crimes committed at the time of the murder.

- Death row warrants history.

- And if appeals are exhausted or there are legal issues being raised.

Such guidelines don't offer much guidance, defense attorneys say. These details fit many death row cases, which are typically the state's worst of the worst murders.

Whatever his criteria, Crist picked out Johnston, an transient who murdered an Orlando woman in 1983, and Marek, who raped, strangled and burned a woman before leaving her body at a Dania Beach lifeguard station in 1984, as the next 2 people for Florida to execute.

Marek was scheduled to die May 13, but the Florida Supreme Court issued a stay, delaying the execution so McClain can present potential new evidence before the panel on today. Johnston is set to die May 27 but also has a chance to sway the Florida Supreme Court today.

24 inmates have exhausted their appeals

Florida's Commission on Capital Cases, which assists attorneys who handle most of the death-row appeals, keeps an on-going list of men who finished their appeals.

It's the list executive director Roger Maas refers to as "death-ready" cases.

Right now, 24 inmates are on the list, including Johnston. Marek still had an appeal pending when Crist signed his death warrant.

Crist isn't showing much of a pattern, Maas and other defense attorneys said.

"It's still early in his term yet," Doss said. "We had 8 years of Jeb Bush to get his methodology."

Meanwhile, a handful of defense attorneys around Florida wonder if one of their clients is next on the governor's list. That is, if there is an actual list.

No one wants to ask. Defense attorney say they fear inquiring may bring attention to their case.

"It just depends on the governor and what he thinks is most pressing," said Dekle.

Some may have theories as to who will be next -- but Crist is the only one who can say.

(source: Sun-Sentinel)


If I got the defense lawyers correct it seems to be unfair, that their clients dont know when the execution takes plac after their appeals are exhausted.. No problem, this could be fixed easily... after the last appeal had been exhausted the execution date will be set from the governour (or prison staff) within 10 days.

Many thanks for this interesting article Moh.

Im not sure if theres a hell, but I believe in executed murderers.


You're quite welcome. I agree with you--Florida ought to have a law mandating that warrants be signed once all appeals have been exhausted. Moreover, I just don't understand why Governor Christ doesn't sign all 24 warrants for those whose appeals have already been exhausted.


May 20, 2009, 12:59:33 PM Last Edit: May 20, 2009, 01:08:14 PM by JeffB
It's the list executive director Roger Maas refers to as "death-ready" cases.

"Death - ready cases"..  What a great phrase.  Well, in lieu of a law mandating a time frame for death warrants to be issued; it would be interesting to know how indeed Christ decided his "batting order".  And with the current 24 warrants ready to be moved on, I would think that Christ would be actively diligent in clearing some of this backlog.  "Ok scumbag - you're definately going first.  Oh, and let's put this animal next..  And damn, yeah; that POS is absolutely going 3rd...  And - wow, did this guy really do that?  Yep, he's going 4th..."......... 


30 years of capital punishment and controversy in Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Three decades have past since Florida resumed executions when John Spenkelink was strapped into Old Sparky and electrocuted, the nation's first involuntary execution after a Supreme Court ban was lifted.

Since then, the state has executed another 64 men and two women. Florida has changed its execution method from the electric chair to lethal injection and the conflict over the death penalty remains as heated as it was 30 years ago. There have been several botched executions and former Gov. Jeb Bush once imposed a moratorium to review the state's procedures and make sure they passed constitutional muster.

"I don't know how you put someone to death and it not be somewhat controversial," said Richard Dugger, who was assistant warden at Florida State Prison when Spenkelink was executed and later head of the Department of Corrections.

Spenkelink, 30, was executed May 25, 1979, for the slaying of traveling companion Joseph Syzmankiewicz in a Tallahassee motel -- Dugger became somewhat notorious for giving him a couple shots of Jack Daniels whiskey just before his death.

In his trial, Spenkelink had claimed he had been raped and the death was self-defense. The jury did not buy it.

Spenkelink, until moments before he died, fought his execution. His case made five trips to the U.S Supreme Court.

His lawyer, David Kendall, now a Washington, D.C., attorney, watched him die and still believes his client shouldn't have been executed.

"The question was this the kind of murder that merited the death penalty?" Kendall said. "Absolutely not. This case lacks the kind of aggravating circumstance that are the hallmark of the death penalty."

Utah had executed Gary Gillmore two years earlier for two slayings, but he did not challenge his death sentence and died by firing squad after telling prison officials, "Let's do it."

Spenkelink had rejected a prosecution offer to plead guilty to a charge of second-degree murder and receive a long prison sentence.

Dugger recalls the time as being one of uncertainty. Florida didn't have an executioner. It had not used the electric chair for 15 years and it had no written procedures on how to conduct an execution.

"The biggest thing about Spenkelink was that it was a new experience for everybody involved," Dugger said. "There was so much attention to it, we couldn't make a mistake."

Former state Attorney General Jim Smith received death threats against him and his family, mainly from those who opposed to the death penalty.

"We had a job to do, as grim as it was," Smith said.

Smith continues to believe in the death penalty, although he said efforts need to be made to ensure that no mistakes are made and innocent people aren't executed.

"It is a deterrent. It would be more of a deterrent if it took place closer to the murder than 15 to 20 years later," Smith said, adding that there is no way to determine its effectiveness. "We can't measure the number of murders that did not take place."

Smith favored the change to lethal injection in 2000.

"I felt like Old Sparky had become a negative symbol. Lethal injection was more in keeping where we were in time."

Florida has had its share of problems while performing executions. Twice there were fires in the electric chair headpieces: Pedro Medina in 1997 and Jesse Tafero in 1990. In both cases, someone on the execution crew had replaced natural sea sponges with artificial sponges, causing flames and sparking when power was turned on in the chair.

On another occasion, Dugger recalls seeing blue electricity danced across the floor during an execution. A prisoner mopping up the floor had left a pool of water under a rubber mat in the execution chamber. Dugger said it is lucky the entire staff was not electrocuted.

The switch to lethal injection did not solve the problems. In December 2006, it took Miami killer Angel Diaz about 36 minutes to die. An autopsy showed the needles used to send lethal drugs racing through his veins had poked through into his muscles.

Bush ordered an investigation into the failure, causing a yearlong delay in executions and a change in procedures. Now, midway through the execution, the warden shakes the inmate to ensure that he is unconscious after the first chemical is administered. If inmate does not respond, the final two chemicals are injected.

In Florida, serial killers Ted Bundy and Gerald Stano, and black-widow killer Judy Buenoano were among the 44 inmates strapped into the electric chair, a three-legged oaken chair built by inmates. Another 23 inmates, including female serial killer Aileen Wuornos and Gainesville student slayer Danny Rolling, have died from lethal injection.

Today, Florida has 392 death row inmates, compared to 134 in 1979. Two, John Marek and David Johnston, recently had their executions stopped by the state Supreme Court.

Marek was convicted of the 1983 kidnapping and murder of a woman who had car trouble on Florida's Turnpike. He has received an indefinite stay claiming new evidence shows he is not the killer.

Johnston was convicted of the November 1983 slaying of 84-year-old Mary Hammond of Orlando. His execution was stopped so DNA evidence can be tested.

Some other states have ended their use of capital punishment to save money, including New Mexico. A similar measure failed by one vote in the Colorado Senate. In Florida, Gov. Charlie Crist and Attorney General Bill McCollum remain committed to the death penalty.

"Gov. Crist supports the death penalty. The heinous nature of the crimes committed by the inmates scheduled for execution ... speak for themselves," spokeswoman Erin Isaac said.

D. Todd Doss, a defense attorney who has represented several death row inmates in their final appeals, including Johnston, sees several changes over the last 30 years, but still doesn't think it's administered fairly.

"We still have an unrepresentative mix of people on death row," he said. "Your race, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic class and geography -- and those of the victim -- have more to do with whether you end up on death row than the facts surrounding the conviction, not to mention the quality of the lawyer and the resources available to that lawyer.

"It is time for abolition of the death penalty or at a minimum a moratorium," said Doss, who lives in Lake City.

An American Bar Association study of Florida's death penalty system concluded that the state needed to make drastic changes in attempt to make it fairer and reduce the chance that an innocent person could be executed. Its recommendations have gone unheeded.

Mark Elliott, executive director of Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, said the state should consider the cost of the death penalty.

"Florida spends over $50 million every year on the death penalty. That's an awful lot of money spent to kill a couple of prisoners destined to die in prison anyway. Since Spenkelink, Florida has spent over $1 billion on the death penalty and amassed over 10,000 unsolved homicides," Elliott said.

Ron McAndrew, a former warden at Florida State Prison and now a prison consultant and anti-death penalty crusader, supervised three executions.

He points to 132 exonerated cases nationwide, including Juan Melendez of Florida, freed in 2002 for a 1983 slaying that he did not commit, as a reason to end the death penalty.

"I could have actually walked this innocent man into the death chamber, strapped him into the electric chair and literally cooked him to death!"

JT's Ridiculous Quote of the Century:
"I'm disgusted with the State for even putting me in this position."
-- Reginald Blanton, Texas death row.  As of October 27, 2009, Reggie's position has been in a coffin.

Granny B

"Former state Attorney General Jim Smith received death threats against him and his family, mainly from those who opposed to the death penalty."

How ironic!  How hypocritical of the antis!  To send death threats when the antis say they don't believe in the death penalty! 

What a bunch of morons!  At least be honest enough to say you do believe in the death penalty if you are making death threats.  Ding dongs!
" Closure? Closure is a misused word in the English language.  There is no such thing as closure for the family of a murder victim.  There will never be any closure for the death of our loved ones until we are dead ourselves.  The families have a lifetime sentence of anguish and sadness." 
Susan Levy


Some of the antis are sillier than expected.  ???

Im not sure if theres a hell, but I believe in executed murderers.



Florida innocence commission

Commission can reduce wrongful convictions with legislative support.

June 3, 2010

Sprinkled throughout the U.S. Constitution is the notion that accused criminals are to be treated fairly and justly.

A high ideal in theory, but too often dogged by judicial breakdowns in practice. When that happens, the system locks up someone like James Bain. He received a life sentence for the 1974 rape of a 9-year-old Lake Wales boy. Only he didn't do the crime. After serving 35 years, Mr. Bain finally tasted freedom in December after DNA testing exonerated him.

Tragically, Mr. Bain's plight isn't uncommon in Florida. At long last, however, it appears the state intends to do more to prevent such miscarriages of justice than simply hoping truth will win the day. Armed with $200,000 in legislative start-up money, the state Supreme Court appears poised to create an innocence commission to examine wrongful convictions and recommend reforms.

It's a badly needed backstop, given that largely because of DNA evidence, 11 people who wrongly were robbed of their liberty were exonerated in recent years. Still, the commission's effectiveness depends on legislators' commitment to funding and to adopting its recommendations.

The push for a state innocence commission came in December from a group of lawyers and former state Supreme Court justices. Echoing a 2006 report by the American Bar Association's Florida Death Penalty Assessment Team, they petitioned the state Supreme Court to establish a panel modeled after a court-ordered commission of legal experts, police and victim advocates in North Carolina.

In March, Chief Justice Peggy Quince rejected the petitioner's request to establish the commission through a deliberative process. But she left open the prospect of getting the commission up and running quickly by signing an administrative order to create it. In any case, legislative funding was an issue.

Sen. Mike Haridopolos scrounged up $200,000, calling it "a good start" to launch the commission.

Similar to the way the National Transportation Safety Board investigates plane crashes, the innocence commission would review Florida cases where jailed innocents have already been exonerated and released. It will not have the authority to intervene in cases wending through the judicial system. The commission will provide a lessons-learned look at wrongful convictions, determining where the process went awry. The goal: suggesting policy reforms to prevent future travesties.

It comes too late to help Anthony Caravella, who was freed in March after serving 26 years for a 1983 rape and murder he didn't commit. But auditing cases like his -- in which Mr. Caravella's public defender last year introduced new evidence that showed police had beaten a confession out of the mildly retarded then-15-year-old -- could prevent abuses that result in innocents rotting behind bars.

Steady funding is critical. As it is, the $200,000 covers only this budget year. Given the stakes, the commission shouldn't have to worry about passing the hat every year to do its duty.

And for fiscal conservatives, it's a money-saver. After all, $200,000 is a bargain compared to what the state must pay to house wrongly convicted inmates or compensate exonerees with a clean record ($50,000 for each year behind bars).

Florida has a long history of state-sanctioned commissions making recommendations that go nowhere. Given the Innocence Project of Florida reports that DNA testing has exonerated 248 U.S. citizens -- including 17 on death row -- since 1992, the Legislature cannot let any viable reforms that come from the commission collect dust.



Not sure where this post should go actually but I found this website that lists a lot of information for Florida inmates. Shows all court filings, summary of crimes, the court rulings and even infractions they committed in prison like fighting, possession of contraband, etc.
I found it interesting and helpful in my looking up why Gary Ray Bowles was not executed last summer.


Matthew 5:9 says, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God"
OfficerDownMemorialPage - RIP To All The Brave Men We Have Lost!


Lack of lethal-injection drug means Florida must develop new execution procedure

Executions of Florida death-row inmates could be on hold for months in the wake of a decision last week by an Illinois drug company to stop producing an anesthetic used in lethal injections here.

Though no new executions are scheduled, the halt in production of the drug effectively means that the state will have to come up with a new procedure to kill inmates. And any new drug "cocktail" developed likely will result in legal challenges down the line.

The drug in question is sodium thiopental, one of three used by Florida and many other states in the lethal-injection sequence. It is an anesthetic administered prior to a muscle relaxant and a third drug that stops the heart.

Currently, 35 states plus the federal government use lethal injection as the primary method of execution, according to the Washington-based Death Penalty Information Center. Most use the same 3-drug method.

On Friday, Lake Forest, Ill.-based Hospira Inc. announced in a statement that it "will exit the sodium thiopental market and no longer attempt to resume production of its product, Pentothal."

That company was the sole American producer of the drug.

"We do use that drug in our lethal-injection process," state Department of Corrections spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger said. "We are exploring other options. At this point, we're looking at making changes to the procedure. If we change one drug, we might have to change another drug."

She also anticipates a legal challenge with the change because the old sequence of drugs had the approval of the courts.

Florida's most-recent execution occurred nearly one year ago, on Feb. 16, when inmate Martin Grossman was put to death by lethal injection after more than 24 years on death row for a 1984 Pinellas County murder.

Since then, a halt in production of the drug has delayed executions in other states, according to a New York Times report.

It's not clear, however, whether the shortage influenced decisions not to carry out death sentences here. In Florida, death-row inmates must elect whether their execution comes by lethal injection or electrocution soon after their first appeal is denied.

Every current Florida death-row inmate at that stage has elected the lethal-injection option, Plessinger said.

Some of the drug was on hand "as of a couple of weeks ago," Plessinger said, but she added: "I know there is a shelf life on the drug."

(source: Orlando Sentinel)

All they have to do is call the Oklahoma Dept. of Corrections - issue resolved...   ::)



Bill would abolish death penalty in Florida

Submitted by Matt Dixon on March 2, 2011 - 12:27pm PolitiJax

From the News Service of Florida:

The death penalty would be abolished in Florida under legislation filed Tuesday by Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda. The proposal (HB 4189) is yet to be assigned to any committees, and would appear to have an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled Legislature.

The measure simply removes the provisions of state law settting the death penalty for capital offenses and all other laws related to it. The second term Democrat told The Tallahassee Democrat that while she's morally opposed to the death penalty, she thought outlawing it also makes financial sense.

The high cost of the death penalty - because of required appeals and reviews - has been cited by opponents of capital punishment. Other opponents of the death penalty say it's problematic because of the number of people on death row who have been shown by DNA evidence brought to light after conviction to be innocent.

"If we're interested in cutting budgets and costs, it seems to me that the death penalty is much more expensive than life in prison without possibility of parole," Vasilinda told the Democrat.






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