Maria Otero Diaz is carried to an EMS van after she was overcome by emotion during the execution of Angel Nieves Diaz, her cousin, outside the Florida Department of Corrections facility in Starke, Fla. Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2006.
Diaz, convicted of murdering the manager of a topless bar 27 years ago was executed by injection Wednesday despite his protests of innocence and requests for clemency made by the governor of his native Puerto Rico. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin)
STARKE, Fla. | A man convicted of murdering the manager of a topless bar nearly three decades ago was executed by injection Wednesday, appearing to grimace before dying 34 minutes after receiving the first of two doses of chemicals.
The manner of his death will likely rekindle the argument that Florida's method of execution constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.
Angel Nieves Diaz, 55, was pronounced dead at 6:36 p.m., despite his protests of innocence and requests for clemency made by the governor of his native Puerto Rico. He appeared to move for 24 minutes after the first injection. His eyes were open, his mouth opened and closed and his chest rose and fell. He was pronounced dead 10 minutes after his last movement.
In most Florida executions, the prisoner loses consciousness almost immediately and stops moving within five minutes. The entire process usually takes about 15 minutes.