Florida Republicans advance bill to let prisons conceal information on 'horrific and painful' execution drugs: report
On Wednesday, the Miami Herald reported that Florida Republicans are advancing a bill, requested by state prison officials, that would bar the public from obtaining records that "could reasonably lead to the identification of any person or entity participating in an execution" — which would allow the state to conceal information on the supply chain for how they obtain drugs used in lethal injections.
According to the report, "Sen. Doug Broxson, a Pensacola Republican, told the Herald he filed the bill at the urging of Department of Corrections officials."
This comes as drug companies face pressure to stop using their drugs in executions — and as Florida has adopted a unique cocktail of drugs that experts warn could be excruciatingly painful to death row prisoners.
"Florida is the only state that uses etomidate, a short-acting sedative, and the first of three drugs in the lethal injection cocktail," reported Ben Conarck and Ana Ceballos. "Some medical experts say etomidate is inadequate for rendering someone truly unconscious during an execution, leading to excruciating pain for prisoners who receive the fatal doses. Johnson & Johnson, etomidate’s original manufacturer, called for states not to administer it in lethal injections in a public statement prior to Florida’s first execution using the drug."
Emory University Hospital anatomic pathologist Dr. Mark Edgar has warned that Florida's protocol is essentially torturing prisoners to death.
"In a report, Edgar wrote about the postmortem condition of prisoners who received etomidate based on four autopsy reports," said the report. "Three showed signs of pulmonary edema. Edgar concluded that prisoners who receive 200 mg of etomidate faced a 'high likelihood' of experiencing 'severe respiratory distress with associated sensations of drowning, asphyxiation, panic and terror.' 'It is my expert opinion that acute pulmonary edema is a terrifying, horrific and painful condition in a sensate individual that causes great suffering as the person struggles to breathe without being able to exchange air because of the compromised lungs,' Edgar wrote in the report."
Sourcing drugs for executions has become increasingly difficult for states with the death penalty in recent years, as public outrage over the practice and growing concerns about how painful and unreliable lethal injections are have prompted drug manufacturers to bar their drugs' use in executions. Pfizer pulled out of supplying drugs for executions in 2016, which left many states scrambling to come up with new protocols.
This has led the states still executing prisoners to become more secretive about their supply chains, to try to shield their suppliers from the public scrutiny scaring them off. Missouri for years tried to hide the identity of a pharmacy supplying their execution drugs, which turned out to engage in "hazardous" practices under cover of the secrecy.
Police in New York are looking for a woman who made anti-Semitic comments at a group of children and then spat on one of them, local news outlet Fox 5 reports.
The NYPD says the incident happened this Friday in Brooklyn when a woman approached an 8-year-old boy who was standing on the sidewalk with two other children. Then then made the comments before spitting on the boy and then walking away.
On 1/14/22, at approx. 12:35 PM, in front of 4017 Avenue P, @NYPD63Pct, a female approached an 8-year-old male along with two other children, made anti-Jewish statements and then spat on the child and fled on foot. \nInfo? Please DM us or @NYPDTips or1-800-577-TIPS (8477).pic.twitter.com/UvzTwIQpcW— NYPD Hate Crimes (@NYPD Hate Crimes) 1642535487
If apprehended, the woman could face aggravated harassment charges.
Watch video of the incident below:
Woman spits on child www.youtube.com
Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced an Oklahoma man Tuesday to 90 days home detention, two years’ probation, fines and community service for spending roughly five minutes in the U.S. Capitol during the January 6 insurrection.
Tanner Bryce Sells, 26, of Chandler, OK, received a sentence stiffer than most individuals who entered the Capitol but were not accused of vandalism or violence. Jackson accepted Sells’ plea, but as the Oklahoman reports today, was not impressed with the defendant.
"I do appreciate the fact that you're willing to stand up and accept judgment, but I'm not sure that you actually understand what the problem was when you just call it a mistake," Berman told Sells. "And I'm not sure what to make of the fact that your lawyer said you aren't proud of your participation, but you said nothing to me on that subject."
Sells, who traveled to the January 6 Trump rally with members of his church, was not fully contrite at the sentencing hearing based upon this exchange:
"There's been a lot of people that's told me that I should come in here and apologize and show my remorse," Sells told the judge. "I have remorse for what I've done and all that. I made a mistake. But, in the same time, I'm ..." he said, then paused.
At that point Berman interjected, "You pled guilty to a federal offense. You broke the law. You're not here today because you supported the former president. Millions of people voted for him and did not heed his call to descend on the nation's Capitol. And there are plenty of people who came to hear the speeches that still managed to control themselves from entering the building.
She told Sells he was a participant in a mass effort to subvert democracy.
"You contributed to the dangerousness. And you contributed to the devastation," she said. "And you helped prolong the period of time before the halls could be cleared and secured and Congress could resume doing the people's business."
Sells, who runs a construction business, is allowed to go to work while on home detention. He also is allowed to go to church and pick up and return his son. He was fined $1,500 and must pay $500 in restitution and complete 50 hours of community service.
You can read the FBI complaint against Sells here.