MAKING SURE IT WAS TIME TO DIE?
TAMPA, Fla. - A convicted killer whose execution was botched last year was never in any pain, and appeared to be straining to see a clock, not grimacing as some witnesses claimed, the warden told a panel reviewing Florida's lethal injection procedures yesterday.
But the condemned man's lawyer said his client was clearly suffering from the incorrectly injected chemicals, and he mocked notion that the inmate was looking at a clock.
"What, was he late for an appointment? Come on, that's ridiculous," said Angel Nieves Diaz's attorney, Neal Dupree, who also witnessed the execution and testified before the commission. "I certainly thought he knew something was wrong and he was looking to the closest [Department of Corrections] guy."
Diaz's execution Dec. 13 took 34 minutes - twice as long as usual - and required a rare second dose of lethal chemicals because the needles were incorrectly inserted clear through his veins and into the flesh in his arms, a medical examiner reported.
After the botched execution, then-Gov. Jeb Bush created the commission to examine whether improvements can be made in how lethal injections are administered.
Executions have been halted pending the commission's report, due to be sent to new Gov. Charlie Crist by March 1.