Monday, July 11, 2005


May 4, 1990...Florida
During the execution, six-inch flames erupted from Tafero's head, and three jolts of power were required to stop his breathing. State officials claimed that the botched execution was caused by "inadvertent human error" -- the inappropriate substitution of a synthetic sponge for a natural sponge that had been used in previous executions. They attempted to support this theory by sticking a part of a synthetic sponge into a "common household toaster" and observing that it smoldered and caught fire.

September 12, 1990...Illinois
Lethal Injection
According to Dr. Edward A. Brunner over 5 minutes after the activation of Illinois's lethal injection machine, and more than two minutes after the plungers had injected the chemicals, Walkers' heart had not stopped, the Illinois Department of Corrections officials ordered the viewing blinds closed. The witnesses were not aware that Walker had not died, and were not told that there was a problem. Without removing Walker form the equipment, officials inspected the equipment and discovered a kink in the intravenous line. They straightened out the line, and a short time later Walker's heart stopped.

October 17, 1990...Virginia
When Evans was hit with the first burst of electricity, blood spewed from the right side of the mask on Evans's face, drenching Evans's shirt with blood and causing a sizzling sound as blood dripped from his lips. Evans continued to moan before a second jolt of electricity was applied. The autopsy concluded that Evans suffered a bloody nose after the voltage surge elevated his high blood pressure.


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