Thursday, 4 January 2007


Federal prisons chief to serve on lethal-injection panel

The Associated Press Posted January 4, 2007, 3:24 PM EST

Jan 4, 2007

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum today named the federal Bureau of Prisons' director as one of his three appointees to a panel that will study the state's lethal injection procedure after a botched execution last month.

Harley Lappin oversees 114 federal prison facilities that house more than 193,000 inmates.

He was warden at the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Ind., when Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was executed there by lethal injection in 2001. McVeigh had set off an explosion at a federal building that killed 168 people in 1995.

Then-Gov. Jeb Bush created the 11-member Governor's Commission on the Administration of Lethal Injection after it took more than a half hour -- twice as long as usual -- for convicted killer Angel Nieves Diaz to die.

Doctors who examined his body said needles that were supposed to be inserted into his veins were pushed through to soft tissue instead, possibly causing pain as deadly chemicals burned his arms. Diaz, 55, a career criminal, was executed Dec. 13 for fatally shooting a Miami topless bar manager 27 years ago.

He grimaced as he was strapped to a gurney and was given a rare second dose of three chemicals used in executions.McCollum also appointed

Carolyn Snurkowski, director of his office's Criminal and Capital Appeals Division, and Dr. Steve Morris, project director for bioterrorism and disaster training at the University of South Florida's nursing school, to the commission.

"It is important that the people of Florida trust their government to carry out this solemn duty in a responsible and educated manner," McCollum said in a statement. "

I have great faith that the commission will benefit from the extensive knowledge and expertise these three individuals possess."

Gov. Charlie Crist will appoint five members. One each are to be named by state Supreme Court Chief Justice R. Fred Lewis, Senate President Ken Pruitt, R-Port St. Lucie, and House Speaker Marco Rubio, R-Coral Gables.

Bush also ordered a moratorium on executions. Crist, who took office Tuesday, said he would continue the ban until the commission finishes its study.

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