At approximately 7:OO a.m. on the early morning of May 4,
1990, Jesse Tafero was escorted into the Death Chamber at the
Florida State Prison to be executed. Inside the chamber with Mr.
Superintendent Tom Barton;
L. E. Turner, Assistant
Superintendent for Operations;
Lt. Don Davis, Administrative
A. D. Thorton, Chief Correctional Officer;
Dr. Frank Kilgo, Chief Medical Officer;
Bill Mathews, Physician's Assistant;
Ron Thornton, Maintenance Construction Supervisor;
A1 Martin, Assistant Maintenance Construction Supervisor. (DOC
Report at l)(App. 9 ) .
witnesses, including two former Florida Highway Patrol officers,
in addition to various other law enforcement officers and
Department of Corrections personnel.
designated members of the National and Florida Media Corps,
In the witness room were the official
Also in attendance were the
McGarraghan of the Miami Herald; Bruce Ritche of the Florida
Times Union; Mark Davis of the Tampa Tribune; Ronald Word of the
Associated Press; and Larry Keller of the Ft. Lauderdale Sun
Sentinel. Other individuals including Gary McClain of the
Inspector General's Office of the Department of Corrections and
the Rev. Robert Baker were also present to witness. The
Cynthia Barnett of the Gainesville Sun; Ellen
%lnfortunate circumstances . . . result[ing] in the rather
bizarre visual accounts of the execution" (App. 9, DOC report),
were now only six minutes away. Cynthia Barnett described what
People told me what executions would be
They used adjectives like sterile,
Another reporter who had seen one told
me a toddler could be standing in the middle
of the death chamber during an execution at
Florida State Prison and never know what
happened to Jessie Joseph Tafero, a man whose
execution was far from sterile.
But a toddler would have known what
Tafero was led into the death chamber
Friday morning at 7 : 0 2 .
perhaps with fear, but he appeared brave --