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Execution Report Due Thursday

February 26th, 2007 by Mike Vasilinda

A panel reviewing what went wrong with the December execution of Angel Diaz is expected to recommend only minor changes when it issues its report later this week. As Mike Vasilinda Reports, the Governor’s Commission on the Administration of Lethal Injection has also concluded the condemned man did not suffer.

Angel Diaz was the 20th person executed by lethal injection in Florida. His December execution took almost twice as long as previous executions. Rodney Doss represents the Attorney General on the panel studying what… if anything… went wrong.

“I think that there was a deviation from the established protocol which may have led to the prolonged execution, and by that I mean a 34 minute execution as opposed to three, to five or six minutes, “ Doss says.

During the review, the panel heard the disguised audio testimony from the executioner.
Who told the panel in an eerily disguised voice “I’ve participated in approximately 84 executions. I serve as a resource in five states.”

Published reports suggest Diaz may have felt pain. The panel says it doesn’t think so… but admits it has no way of knowing. During an execution, sound from the death chamber is turned off so witnesses don’t know what’s being said in the room. The ACLU’s Larry Spalding says one way to have better answers in the future is to make the process more open.

“We don’t know what happened to Angel Diaz. If the press had greater access, the questions they can’t answer may have been answered.”

The panel will recommend better written procedures for future executions… it will not indict the execution process. The final report from the lethal injection commission is due on the governor’s desk by Thursday .

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