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

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Diaz.

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.
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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.

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