Nation: At Issue: Crime and Punishment

Florida ends the nation's moratorium on executions

The Venetian blinds in the tiny brown chamber at the Florida State Prison opened at 10:11 a.m., giving the 32 witnesses their first glimpse through the glass partition at the condemned man. He was strapped tightly into the stout oak chair, a black gag across his mouth. Suddenly a black hood dropped over his face, and six attendants stepped back. The executioner, his identity a secret and his face also shrouded in black, flipped a red switch, sending 2,250 volts of electricity through the man's body, then...

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