Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Judge: Injections flawed

Associated Press
A judge hearing arguments on the constitutionality of Florida's lethal injection procedures has ruled that a Death Row inmate cannot be executed unless the Department of Corrections makes changes to its protocol and procedures.

The ruling came in an unusual hearing Sunday before Circuit Judge Carven D. Angel in Ocala in the case involving Ian Deco Lightbourne, condemned for the 1981 slaying of Nancy O'Farrell. The ruling could potentially impact other executions.

Angel made his ruling after 11 days of evidentiary hearings concerning the botched Dec. 13 execution of Angel Diaz, who took more than 30 minutes to die, after IV needles inserted into his arm punctured his veins.

''Our objective is to carry out a process that is consistent with evolving notions of the decency of man. It is not going to involve infliction of pain or lingering death,'' the judge said.

Neal Dupree, the Capital Collateral Regional Counsel, an agency representing Death Row inmates in their final appeals, said he believes Angel's ruling could impact the Nov. 15 scheduled execution of Mark Dean Schwab, 38, condemned for the 1992 kidnapping, rape and murder of 11-year-old Junny Rios-Martinez, of Cocoa.

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