Saturday, February 10, 2007

"No Training, No Qualifications"

Florida's "lead executioner" in the botched state-sponsored murder by lethal injection of Angel Diaz "had no medical training and no qualifications," according to an Associated News wire service report in the International Herald Tribune. This probably accounts for medical findings that "needles had been pushed incorrectly through [Diaz'] veins into soft tissue, delaying the flow of chemicals into his bloodstream. An autopsy found chemical burns in both his arms."

The St. Pete Times explains that Diaz "needed so much of the chemicals because the needles inserted into his arms tore through his veins and sprayed the chemicals into his flesh. Though the chemicals can kill someone if they seep into the flesh, it takes much longer and can cause severe pain."

"Some observers" were "surprised," we are told, when the "lead executioner" confessed to botching other killings as well.
The executioner told a panel studying the state's lethal injection protocols that they pumped the cocktail into both of Diaz's arm. He surprised some observers by saying he had gone to the second arm in other executions as well.

He added that he did that on those other occasions on his own volition - not on the advice of medical staff.

"That's because I thought I should do it," he said, later adding, "In my opinion, when the execution begins the executioner is in charge."

The unnamed "executioner" testified anonymously by telephone and disguised his voice with an electronic device that made his voice sound "warbled." So, too, did the assisting nurse. According to the SPT, "Their names were not revealed in accordance with state law."

That's one law we don't need in Florida. As long as Florida retains capital punishment, we ought to know who are the unqualified, untrained thugs that work for us do our dirty work.

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