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Facts About Capital Punishment


Florida’s history with the death penalty is long—going back as far as the 1800’s.  That’s when the first Floridian was convicted of murder and hanged. Back in the day, the sheriff of the local county oversaw these public events. Things have changed a lot since then.

Death Row in Florida 

Public hangings went out in 1923, when the legislature of Florida voted that the electric chair would be a more humane method to execute prisoners—so the first execution in that manner took place in 1924, using a wood chair that was actually built by inmates at the Florida State Penitentiary.  There were a number of malfunctions in its last decade of use, and after some controversy surrounding a patient who suffered burns on his body and bled from the nose, this, too, was deemed too inhumane, and the state decided on lethal injection as the preferred method of execution in 2000—although prisoners can still choose the electric chair if they wish.

“Volunteers” Abandon Appeals 

Over 1,400 executions have occurred in the past four decades in the United States. In most cases, the inmates involved stopped fighting the sentence. These inmates, known in the legal world as volunteers, simply drop their appeals and submit to the system. One study of these individuals found that they tend to experience the same emotional journey as people who choose suicide outside of prison.

 Lethal Injection 

Lethal injection is the primary method of execution used in Florida The process necessitates the use of a drug sequence that is supposed to result in a quick and painless death. The way it’s supposed to occur is this: Unconsciousness occurs after the first drug is administered; the second drug paralyzes the involuntary muscles of the inmate; the third drug leads to cardiac arrest and death. Regrettably, that does not always occur as efficiently in practice as it does on paper.

Problems with Lethal Injection 

There have been cases across the country when inmates were inadequately anesthetized leading to masked suffering, meaning they were immobile, yet consciously suffocating as their lungs shut down, then later experiencing terrible pain from the administration of the third drug, which has been described as quite literally burning one’s veins enroute to the heart. Medical experts acknowledge that there are certain situations in which the administration of anesthesia is more likely to result in consciousness that looks like unconsciousness. Two of the factors increasing this likelihood are:

1-    When anesthesia is intravenously injected, as in executions;

2-    When the person being anesthetized has a record of substance abuse—a not uncommon circumstance among death row inmates.

A Vigorous Defense 

At the Salazar & Kelly Law Group, P.A., our Kissimmee criminal defense attorneys are focused on providing a dynamic defense for clients because we believe that every human in this country deserves nothing less. To discuss your situation, contact our office today.



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