Sunday, May 13, 2007

New Florida Lethal Injection Procedures and DOC Report

*Please forward and post widely*

Dear friends,
Late last year, executions in Florida were put on hold because of the flawed process of lethal injection. Now that a government commission has reviewed the lethal injection process (, Florida needs to continue the time-out on executions and review the entire death penalty system and all of its flaws.

YOUR involvement is critical to halt executions and study the capital punishment system!

FOUR THINGS YOU CAN DO TODAY: Choose one, or all four if you can!
Write letters, emails, and call Governor Charlie Crist to tell him to maintain the current time-out on executions and do a thorough study of the death penalty.

(See AP article below about the need for communication with Crist)
Sign up to receive future action alerts and news from Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (FADP) at

Forward this alert to a friend (or five!) and have them contact Governor Crist too!

Support FADP!
Each one of us can make a difference! This is about quantity. Short letters (even 2-3 sentences) are great! See talking points below for ideas.
ADDRESS: Gov. Charlie Crist The Capitol 400 S. Monroe St. Tallahassee, FL 32399 PHONE: 850-488-7146 FAX: 850-487-0801 EMAIL:
Pick what resonates with you--
Thank you for launching an Open Government study of the method and protocols of lethal injection and the circumstances involving the December 15th execution of Angel Diaz. It is clear that the protocols need to be rewritten, and any process moving forward should ensure that the new protocols are thoughtfully developed and properly vetted through a public process that allows the citizens of Florida to understand clearly this uniquely serious action that the State takes.

Lethal injection involves a medical procedure and should be overseen by well-trained medical professionals.

Florida’s Death penalty lawyers are untrained and under funded. The performance of appointed lawyers in Florida has been criticized on numerous occasions, including by the Florida Supreme Court. Some lawyers have little or no experience in death penalty cases and do not raise the correct issues in trials.

Since 1973, 123 death row inmates have been released after evidence proved they were innocent, including 22 in Florida. We need to figure out what's gone wrong in these cases so we do not risk executing an innocent person.

The death penalty in Florida costs $51 million a year above and beyond what it would cost to sentence defendants to life without the possibility of parole. Can we really afford such a wasteful system? And aren't our valuable tax dollars better spent on a measures that would prevent violent crimes?

To be meaningful, justice should be swift and sure. The death penalty is neither. Capital punishment prolongs pain for victims’ families, dragging them through an agonizing and lengthy process that holds out the promise of one punishment in the beginning and usually results in a life sentence in the end anyway.

Since 1979, when Florida reinstated the death penalty, none of the 60 executed have been white defendants who killed black victims, and although numerous commissions and task forces have studied and made recommendations to address racial and geographical bias in Florida’s death penalty law, few of those recommendations have been implemented.

The American Bar Association assessment report found that Florida’s system is plagued with problems that can lead to wrongful convictions, such as access to DNA testing, the preservation of evidence, and eye witness identification procedures, including lineups and interrogation procedures that increase the likelihood of false confessions.


AP Article outlining the need for communication to Governor Crist:
February 27, 2007

OHIO - In one of the nation's busiest death penalty states, letters to Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland are running almost 5-to-1 in favor of ending capital punishment or temporarily stopping it to study the system.

Strickland supports the death penalty, but almost immediately after taking office, he delayed the executions of three condemned killers while he reviewed their cases.

The decision resonated in Ohio, where former Gov. Bob Taft let 24 executions proceed with little hesitation.

An Associated Press review of correspondence Strickland received since his election and running through Feb. 15 found 125 letters or e-mails from death penalty opponents.

...In FLORIDA, newly elected Gov. Charlie Crist, a Republican and death penalty supporter, has received only 22 letters and e-mails split evenly between capital punishment backers and opponents.

"I wouldn't say we felt like it was high or low," Crist spokeswoman Kathy Torian said.

Florida executed 21 inmates under Crist's predecessor, Republican Jeb Bush.

The state has a temporary moratorium on executions while a commission studies whether changes are needed in the way the state carries out the death penalty.

Bush created the commission after December's botched execution of Angel Nieves Diaz, who survived for more than a half hour after being given two doses of the lethal injection drugs.

Mark Elliott Director, Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty,

Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty
2840 W. Bay Drive
#118 Belleair Bluffs, FL 33770-2620

"The time is always right to do what is right." Martin Luther King

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