Some seconds later he said some things that we could not hear. I was stunned and spontaneously said out loud, “We can’t hear him. What is he saying?” The painted lady next to me whispered “Shhhsh!” and a guard said, “No talking” and moved closer to me at the side of the window.
A minute later his chest stopped moving, several minutes passed and at 6:42 a man in a lab coat came out from behind the curtain at the rear of the chamber. The man checked Amos’ heart beat with a stethoscope, then he returned behind the curtain. Then Dr. Victor Selyutin the second man also dressed in a white medical lab coat came out, checked Amos for a heart beat with a stethoscope and then checked his eyes. Dr. Selyutin then looked toward Assistant Warden Allen Clark and nodded.
The Florida State Execution Protocol specifically states that:
“Once the condemned inmate is pronounced dead by the physician, the member of the Execution Team designated by the Warden shall record the time death is pronounced.”
The ethical rules of the American Medical Association specifically forbid member physicians from pronouncing death as this involves direct examination of the body and should the physician determine the condemned person is not dead it would lead to further application of poison to bring about death. There is a big difference between pronouncing death and certifying death.
What any physician, nurse or medical technician would be doing in an execution chamber is a real question in view of the primary intent of medicine being that of first doing no harm. I could not help but wonder it Dr. Selyutin had made himself an extra hundred and fifty bucks for the day by administering the poisons himself.
At that point the curtain was quickly drawn over the observation window and we were told to leave the witness area, official State witnesses first.