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December 14, 2006

Isn't it finally time for Congress to do something about lethal injection problems?

Eight months ago in this post, I urged Congress to consider whether and how it could do something to address the lethal injection mess unfolding in state and federal courts.  (I expanded upon these points in this article in the annual Cato Supreme Court Review).   As recently detailed here and here, the mess continues to grow all over the country, and last night's botched Florida execution of Angel Diaz (basics here) is the latest disturbing development.

StandDown Texas Project & ODPI have great coverage of the Florida news over the last 24 hours.  In addition, a helpful reader has sent me this link to an Angel Diaz blog.  This post has a timeline of the execution with these chilling entries:

6:00 p.m.: The curtain opens.  Angel Diaz gives a short last statement claiming he is innocent.

6:02: Diaz begins grimacing and seems to speak, though a microphone is off and none of the witnesses can hear him.

6:06: Diaz squints his eyes and juts his chin as if in pain.  He continues this for several minutes.

6:12: Diaz's head slips to the right.  He coughs several times and appears to shudder.

6:15: His mouth has appeared to widen and his breathing is deep.

6:18: A member of the execution team hands a phone to another member of the team. What they say on the phone is not revealed.  Diaz's mouth and chin move as he breathes deeply.

6:24: Diaz's mouth and chin slowly stop moving.  His eyes appear fixed.

6:26: His body suddenly jolts.  His eyes appear to be opening more widely.  Again, a member of the execution team gets on the phone.

6:34: A doctor wearing a blue hood that covers his face enters the execution chamber and checks Diaz's vital signs.  The doctor returns a minute later, checks the vital signs again and nods to a member of the execution team.

6:36: A member of the execution team announces that the sentence of Angel Diaz has been carried out.  The curtain closes.

I am never a big fan of federal involvement in state matters.  But, recalling Congress's active role in last year's hub-bub over Terry Schiavo, I continue to wonder where we can find the vocal "culture of life" advocates when we need them?

UPDATE:  How Appealing here has collected lots of Friday morning news coverage of the problems with the Diaz execution.  Also, ODPI has a great round-up of latest developments.

December 14, 2006 at 06:11 PM | Permalink

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» A Question Doug Berman Has Asked Before from StandDown Texas Project
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Comments

Re: the whereabouts of the "culture of life" advocates. Babies are cuter than convicts.

Posted by: Anne | Dec 15, 2006 8:39:36 AM

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