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Follow-Up on Happ Execution

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Tonya Alanez of the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale) has this story on the execution of William Happ.

It took just 13 minutes to still the beating heart of a Lauderdale Lakes woman's killer by lethal injection Tuesday evening.

But in a jaw-dropping moment before he could say any more, the condemned man confessed, apologized and asked for forgiveness.

"For 27 years, the horrible murder of Angela Crowley has been clouded by circumstantial evidence and uncertainty," William Frederick Happ said. "For the sake of her family, loved ones and all concerned, it is to my agonizing shame that I must confess to this terrible crime."
Opponents of the death penalty say it does not allow for the possibility of redemption, but there is a kind of redemption in a killer confessing, apologizing, and taking his deserved punishment.  How often does a scene like this occur when the sentence is life without parole?

The usual suspects claimed that Florida's substitute drug in its three-drug protocol could result in extreme pain if it was not properly administered so as to put the inmate "under" before the second and third drugs.  Of course, but that was the issue with thiopental as well.  The simple answer is a consciousness check between the first and second drugs.  Justice Ginsburg's dissent in Baze v. Rees was based largely on the absence of such a step from the Kentucky protocol.  (Kentucky has since adopted a single-drug protocol, although an injunction remains in effect for no good reason.)  Florida has this safeguard, as described in the story.

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