Death Penalty

Fla. Judge: No Execution; It's Too Cruel


A Florida judge has refused to impose the death penalty on a specific prisoner, following a botched 30-minute execution of another inmate on Dec. 13.

Ruling Sunday in Ocala, after an 11-day evidentiary hearing, Circuit Judge Carven D. Angel agreed with the defense, reports the Associated Press. It would be unconstitutional to carry out the death penalty Ian Deco Lightbourne, his counsel had contended, until the Department of Corrections makes changes in its execution protocol and procedures.

”Our objective is to carry out a process that is consistent with evolving notions of the decency of man. It is not going to involve infliction of pain or lingering death,” the judge said.

An attorney with an agency that represents prisoners on Florida’s death row in their final appeals says he believes the ruling is likely to persuade other judges to take the same approach in other cases.

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