Friday, 29 December 2006

Capital punishment on trial

Published December 28, 2006 01:24 pm -

EDITORIAL: No matter how you feel about the death penalty, you should be appalled at how wrong this execution went.

Capital punishment on trial


Angel Nieves Diaz, 55, was put to death for murdering a Miami bar manager 27 years ago. Witnesses said Diaz grimaced before dying, although an autopsy report has not concluded whether, in fact, he did suffer.

What the report did confirm, however, was that needles were wrongly inserted into the flesh of his arms, instead of into his veins as is proper procedure.

Along with a national uproar has come decisions by Florida and California officials to suspend all executions pending further investigations. Both states use lethal injection.

The suspensions and further studies would certainly seem appropriate.

Meanwhile, there has been growing sympathy for Diaz, a man convicted of taking another person’s life, and his family.

“They had to execute him twice,” said Mark Elliot, a spokesman for Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. “If Floridians could witness the pain and the agony of the executed man’s family, they would end the death penalty.”

In a twist of irony, you can just sense that a lawsuit and perhaps a large payout of taxpayer money to the family could be on the horizon.

— The Tribune-Democrat, Johnstown, Pa.

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