Saturday, 15 September 2007

How execution team members will be in denial when a person dies in pain

None of the DOC personnel present in the execution chamber with Mr. Diaz admitted to noticing the problems seen by the lay witnesses.

The majority of the DOC personnel inside the chamber testified that they stood at parade rest, looking straight ahead and only occasionally glancing at Mr. Diaz. (T. 438, 707, 911, 1719).

Nevertheless, several of them heard Mr. Diaz speak during the execution, heard him ask "what's happening" at one point, and saw him turn his head to look at the clock behind him. (T. 210, 261, 437, 459, 684, 912).

Most noticed that the execution was taking longer than usual, but apparently they failed to consider the possibility that the longer duration might be indicative of a problem. (T. 218, 460, 684).

None of the DOC personnel present in the chamber noticed any redness or swelling in Mr. Diaz's arms, and Colonel Mallard volunteered that he's "not trained to look at IVs and tell when something is wrong with them." (T. 1724-25).

At one point, Assistant Warden Dixon, who was on the phone throughout the execution with Raquel Rodriguez, former counsel for the Governor, was asked by Ms. Rodriguez whether something was wrong and was requested to ask the medical staff if the chemicals were mixed correctly. (T. 264).

Assistant Warden Dixon refused her request, and Warden Bryant then explained to Ms. Rodriguez that everything "was going okay" and to be patient and allow the chemicals to do their job. (T. 222).

It was at that point, however, that Colonel Mallard, who was participating for the first time in an execution, and who had undergone no training, having started work at Florida State Prison five days prior to the execution, realized from the tone of the conversation that there might be a problem with the execution. (T. 1714, 1722).

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