February 13, 2007 - ALEX CHADWICK, host:
This is DAY TO DAY from NPR News. I'm Alex Chadwick.
MADELEINE BRAND, host:
And I'm Madeleine Brand.
We have a report coming up on a murder near Boston involving high school students, autism,
CHADWICK: First, to the growing debate about the death penalty. Several state legislatures are
now rethinking the rules that govern capital punishment. In Florida, a special panel meets this
week to re-examine how the death penalty is applied. This after an executioner testified about a
lethal injection that caused chemical burns on both arms of the condemned man.
Joining us to discuss the state of the death penalty, Dahlia Lithwick, legal analyst for Slate and
for DAY TO DAY. Welcome back, Dahlia. And what about this Florida case?
DAHLIA LITHWICK: Well, Alex, the State Lethal Injection Commission in Florida is hearing
testimony, as you said, right now about this really horrifying botched execution. The defendant,
or I guess now the deceased, Angel Diaz, was executed on December 13th of last year. Not only
did the procedure take 34 minutes, which is 20 minutes longer than usual, it required, apparently,
according to testimony, 14 vials of chemicals to be inserted into veins in both arms.
And because the IV lines went into his tissue and not the veins, it was just a disaster. And by all
accounts, it was so badly botched that then-Governor Jed Bush called the moratorium in that
state on all executions until they could get to the bottom of what was going wrong with the lethal
Yesterday, testimony included testimony from one person who said even vets don't use the