TALLAHASSEE-- Florida is moving ahead with the planned execution of a Pasco man despite problems in another state that using a similar drug cocktail. The latest death warrant came five days after an Oklahoma inmate took more than 40 minutes to die.
John Henry was condemned for slashing the throats of his ex-wife and her five year old son. His black bordered death warrant was signed six days after the botched lethal injection of an Oklahoma inmate.
Florida uses a similar three-drug cocktail.
Florida's execution procedures call for the recertification of the process every two years, or more often, if warranted by medical information, legal jurisprudence or experiences in other jurisdictions.
Even though the department's own procedures call for a new certification of the execution process, based on what happened in other states, nothing new has taken place in Florida.
The Department of Corrections declined to be interviewed, so we asked the Governor. “Department of Corrections works to make sure that we do it in a way that's humane. But let me tell you, I think about every day about the families, I think about the victims."
We also asked Attorney General Pam Bondi if she was confident in the process. "We are reviewing what happened in Oklahoma. It was very different. I am comfortable with the drugs that we are using in our state. We have experienced no problems here in Florida. But of course we're looking at what happened in Oklahoma. The facts there though are very different."
Since switching to lethal injections, the state has been forced to switch lethal drugs because of shortages.
Florida was one of the last states to continue using the electric chair despite two executions in the 1990s when flames erupted from the inmate's head.