“It took Angel Nieves Diaz 34 minutes to die from the time the two executioners inserted the IV tubes into each arm and began pumping the chemicals into his body. His eyes widened. His head rolled. He appeared to speak. ‘It was my observation that he was in pain,’ Neal Dupree, a lawyer for Diaz and a witness to the execution, wrote in an affidavit. The faint signs of movement from the body strapped to the trolley continued for 24 minutes. ‘His face was contorted, and he grimaced on several occasions. His Adam's apple bobbed up and down continually, and his jaw was clenched.’
Diaz's execution in Florida on December 13 for the murder of the manager of a topless bar was the last in the state for some months to come. Almost immediately after his body was removed from the execution chamber, it became clear that the execution had gone wrong.
The cocktail of three chemicals that was meant to have sent him to oblivion within moments had led to a painful, lingering death. After a report from the medical examiner found 12-inch-long chemical burns on Diaz's arms, the state governor, Jeb Bush, opened an inquiry into his death and suspended all executions, granting more than 370 people on Florida's death row at least a temporary reprieve.” (Goldenberg) These are the typical stories people think of when the death penalty is brought up; however, most people don’t realize what crime someone has committed to be sentenced to death. Many have their opinions on whether the death penalty should be legal or not, but they don’t have background knowledge on capital punishment and the cases which receive it. Those who want to abolish the death penalty usually feel that way because it is cheaper to keep the prisoner alive, they could be sentenced to life with no parole instead, or they believe that it is immoral. There are also many voters who want to keep capital punishment legal so there is more space in prisons, the accused won’t be able to hurt anyone ever again, and many people who still believe in the saying “an eye for an eye.” Regardless of the horror stories, and the freak accidents, the death penalty should be legal in every state for a plethora of reasons. Although not all states have the same laws for capital punishment, there are quite a few crimes which can be punished by death. Treason, aggravated kidnapping, willfully causing a train wreck, perjury, hijacking a plane, sex crimes against a victim younger than 14 to a repeat offender, rape of a victim younger than 13, capital sexual battery, murder during an act of terrorism, and capital drug trafficking are all a part of the crimes which are punishable by death (Justice). All of these are either crimes against the United States government or are crimes committed against a defenseless minor. There are only 16 states, as well as Washington D.C, that have abolished the death penalty so far, and in the rest of the states in America, any person who commits one of these crimes is likely to be put on death row. Death row is a section in a prison where inmates that are awaiting execution stay. Anyone who is found guilty and sentenced to death will be held in a cell, on death row, through their appeal and other court appointments. If all of these efforts are unsuccessful, the inmate will stay in their cell on death row until their execution day. Incidentally, “nearly a quarter of deaths on death row are from natural causes” (Weigel). This is because on average it takes the inmate about fifteen years to finally be executed after they are sentenced. Those inmates, who have made it to their execution date in previous years, have been executed using quite a few different methods. “Burning, hanging, use of the gallows, firing squad, the gas chambers, and electrocution were all methods of execution within the past 200 years; however, today, lethal injection is the only method of execution used across the United States” (Gramlich). Lethal injection