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Florida Resumes Executions

June 30th, 2008 by Mike Vasilinda

After 18 and a half months, Florida is set to resume executions tomorrow night at 6 p.m. Mark Dean Schwab is set to die exactly 16 years after being sentenced to death for kidnapping, raping and killing 11-year-old Junny Rios-Martinez. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, controversy still surrounds the execution.

Mark Dean Schwab killed 11-year-old Junny Rios Martinez just a month after being released early from prison. He had already been convicted of raping a 13-year-old boy.

Executions in Florida have been on hold since December 2006 after the botched execution of Angel Diaz. Since then, the state says new procedures are in place; the execution chamber redesigned.

The team warden will check the inmate to make sure he is unconscious before moving onto other drugs. Basically hell shake the inmate, call his name, DOC spokesperson Gretl Plessinger said. Its similar to what a first responder would do.

New video of the death chamber shows TV cameras above the gurney to help monitor the inmate.

The Florida Supreme Court rejected Schwabs last minute appeal on Friday. His only hope lies with the U.S. Supreme Court.

The American Civil Liberties Union says Florida could have made the execution process more open and didnt.

All the protocol now says if something goes wrong, immediately pull the curtains, Larry Spalding with the Florida ACLU said. Dont let the press, dont let the public see whats happening.

While the U.S. Supreme Court has said executions are legal, it has sent the message that problems could trigger another review, which means Florida officials are on notice to get it right.

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