Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Time, Appeals Running Out For Death Row Inmate----Mark Dean Schwab Is Scheduled To Die On Tuesday

June 30

FLORIDA----impending execution

Time, Appeals Running Out For Death Row Inmate----Mark Dean Schwab Is
Scheduled To Die On Tuesday

Time and appeals are running out for Florida death row inmate Mark Dean
Schwab who is scheduled to be put to death this week for the rape and
murder of an 11-year old girl.

Schwab's attorney said he's filing an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court
asking the high court to consider the case and issue a stay of execution.

For the first time since a botched execution nearly 2 years ago, Florida
Department of Corrections officials are preparing to execute a condemned

Schwab, 39, is scheduled to die on Tuesday; 16 years after he was
sentenced in the 1991 kidnapping, rape and murder of Junny Rios-Martinez.
Schwab raped and killed Junny a month after he was released early from a
prison sentence he got for raping a 13-year-old boy, who was from Cocoa.

All Florida executions were put on hold after the December 2006 death
sentence of Angel Diaz was carried out. During Diaz's execution the lethal
injection needles were accidentally pushed through his veins, causing the
chemicals to go into his muscles instead. This delayed his death for 34
minutes, nearly twice as long as normal.

Former Governor Jeb Bush suspended all executions, and along with several
other states waited for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on whether the
3-drug method of lethal injection used by Kentucky was constitutional. 34
other states, including Florida, use a similar method.

On Tuesday, the new procedures for execution will require the warden to
make sure the inmate is unconscious following the injection of the first
chemical, sodium pentothal. Pancuronium bromide will then be injected to
paralyze the condemned man's muscles; finally potassium chloride will be
injected to stop the heart.

Schwab and his attorneys aren't so sure the problems are fixed.

An analysis done for Schwab's lawyers showed that nine of the 30 mock
executions performed by Florida's Department of Corrections were failures.
Correction officials say the mock exercises have included preparation for
potential problems such as a combative inmate, the incapacity of an
execution team member, power failure and finding a vein.

The state has argued successfully in several courts that the procedure
meets all constitutional tests against cruel and unusual punishment and
that Schwab cannot raise the issue again.

On Friday, the Florida Supreme Court rejected Schwab's latest appeal
claiming the new procedure still carries the risk of causing intense pain
and suffering.

(source: CBS News)

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