Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Judge sets final hearing dates for Ocala death penalty case

Published Aug. 7, 2007 6:20 pm
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Judge sets final hearing dates for Ocala death penalty case

OCALA -- Circuit Judge Carven Angel issued an order outlining the final hearing dates for the Ian Lightbourne death penalty case.

Attorneys from the Attorney Generals Office and attorneys representing Lightbourne are arguing about whether the death penalty is "cruel and unusual" based on the botched Angel Diaz execution.

The final hearing dates and arguments will be held at the Marion County Courthouse from Aug. 28 to Aug. 31. Angel is expected to issue a ruling in September.

It took 34 minutes - twice as long as normal - for Diaz, 55, to die after an unusual second injection of the three chemicals used in the procedure. Then-Gov. Jeb Bush suspended all Florida executions in December after a medical examiner

Attorneys representing dozens of death row inmates filed a petition the day after the Dec. 13 Diaz execution, claiming the penalty was "cruel and unusual." The Florida Supreme Court hand-picked the Lightbourne case to hear arguments on the constitutionality of the state's lethal injection methods.

Lightbourne, 47, was sentenced to death in 1981 for the murder of Marion County horse breeder Nancy O'Farrell, the daughter of a prominent horse farming family.

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