TALLAHASSEE CITIZENS AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY
1503 Payne Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32303
February 8, 2007
The Governor’s Commission on the Administration of Lethal Injection
State of Florida
Dear Members of the Commission:
First let me thank you for the openness of your process. We appreciate your open hearings and your willingness to receive public testimony. What you are doing is in keeping with Governor Crist’s first Executive Order, which created the Office of Open Government.
By his Executive Order the Governor told the citizens of Florida that the actions of their government will be transparent. In that spirit, Tallahassee Citizens Against the Death Penalty ask for the following from the Commission:
- That the development of any and all protocols for the lethal injection procedure be done “in the sunshine” in a forum in which the citizens can know about the process. As you know, that did not happen when the current protocols were established.
- That the witnesses be allowed to see the whole process of execution, beginning at the time the person is escorted to the death chamber and including the imposition of restraints and the insertion of needles. Reporters and other witnesses are there, in part, to represent and report to the citizens of Florida in whose name the execution is being performed.
- That the identities of the execution team be made known to the public. As information about lethal injection becomes available, Florida’s citizens are becoming more aware of the training and abilities required of the participants. Preparing the chemicals, inserting intravenous needles, and injecting the drugs into the veins–these are delicate medical procedures. The citizens of Florida have a right to know who is performing these actions in their name.
The work you are doing is enormously important–for Floridians, for citizens of other states wrestling with the issues involving lethal injection, and for those in other countries who look with interest, and often with dismay, at the administration of the death penalty in the United States. Regardless of whether one supports or opposes the death penalty, all of us want the policies and procedures of our state to be reasonable, humane, and defensible in the eyes of the world. To that end we encourage you to interpret your mandate in the broadest possible context; to do your work with care; and to be deliberate, devoting to your task the time it requires.
You have our best wishes.
Walter Moore, Chair
Tallahassee Citizens Against the Death Penalty