Florida Gov. Jeb Bush ordered a death-penalty moratorium in his state last week, after it took 34 minutes and a second injection to kill a condemned murderer. Most prisoners die within 15 minutes, but 24 minutes after his injection, inmate Angel Diaz was grimacing, blinking, and appearing to mouth words. Doctors later determined that technicians missed the artery in his left arm when they first injected him. Lethal injection also came under new scrutiny in two other states. In California, U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel said that the state’s lethal-injection system was so shoddy it violated the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Maryland’s highest court also halted executions, saying the state’s protocol for lethal injections had been adopted improperly. Lethal injection remains the preferred execution method in 37 states, but constitutional challenges have been gaining momentum.
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