New Republic Runs Photos of Autopsy From Botched Florida Lethal Injection

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
May 29 2014 1:28 PM

New Republic Runs Photos of Autopsy From Botched Florida Lethal Injection


Florida Department of Corrections/Handout

A just-posted piece byThe New Republic about the botched 2006 lethal injection of Angel Diaz in Florida includes graphic photographs from Diaz's autopsy. Writer Ben Crair found the photos in court documents submitted by another Florida death-row prisoner, Ian Lightbourne, who is arguing that the death penalty "poses an unconstitutional risk of cruel and unusual punishment."

The execution of Diaz, a convicted murderer, took 34 minutes and required two full doses of drugs because of a badly placed IV.

In Diaz’s case, the execution team member—Florida never disclosed this person’s name or qualifications—did not struggle to locate veins in both forearms. However, this person, either unknowingly or wantonly, pushed the catheters through both veins and into subcutaneous soft tissue—an error that is known in medicine as “infiltration.” As a result, the drugs flowed between layers of soft tissue in Diaz’s arms rather than into his bloodstream. 
This created large chemical burns. On the right arm, the burn zone was 12 by 5 inches, with numerous blisters (or "bullae," as they're known medically) and a sloughing off of superficial skin. On the left arm, the burn zone was 11 by 7 inches.

Crair writes that the failure to properly place the IV, in addition to causing burns, likely means that Diaz remained conscious while he was being suffocated to death.

Ben Mathis-Lilley edits the Slatest. Follow @Slatest on Twitter.



Crying Rape

False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

How Will You Carry Around Your Huge New iPhone? Apple Pants!

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.


The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Lifetime Didn’t Find the Steubenville Rape Case Dramatic Enough. So They Added a Little Self-Immolation.

No, New York Times, Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman” 

Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 1:39 PM Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman,” New York Times. Neither Are Her Characters.
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.