Oklahoma and Florida Carry Out Executions Despite Drug Debate


Oklahoma put to death convicted murderer and rapist Charles Warner on Thursday, its first execution since a faulty lethal injection last April sparked widespread criticism and led the state to draw up new protocols for its death chamber.

At nearly the same time, Florida executed Johnny Kormondy, 42, for the fatal 1993 shooting of Pensacola banker Gary McAdams and the rape of his wife, according to the state Department of Corrections.

Both executions had been delayed as the U.S. Supreme Court considered appeals concerning secrecy surrounding the source of the lethal injection cocktail and what is in the mix.

Warner, 47, said he was poked five times and was quoted as saying: “It feels like acid,” as he lay on the Oklahoma death chamber gurney with IVs in his arms, a prisons spokesman said.

Lawyers for death row inmates said the sedative midazolam, used by both states in their lethal injection mix, could not achieve the level of unconsciousness required for surgery and was therefore unsuitable for executions.

Both states have said the drug is effective and their chemical combinations are appropriate.

In an unusually lengthy dissent in the Oklahoma case, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said a stay was in order to examine an increasing reliance on new and scientifically untested methods of execution.

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SOURCE: Reuters
Bill Cotterell and Heide Brandes

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