Florida moving ahead with execution, despite problems in Oklahoma

Death warrant signed for convicted killer John Henry

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Prison photo of convicted death row inmate John Henry.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida is moving ahead with the planned execution of a Pasco man despite problems in another state that used a similar drug cocktail.

John Henry was condemned in 1991 for slashing the throats of his ex-wife and her 5-year-old son in 1985. His black-bordered death warrant was signed six days after an Oklahoma inmate took more than 40 minutes to die by lethal injection.

Florida uses a three-drug cocktail similar to the one in Oklahoma.

The state's execution procedures call for the recertification of the process every two years, or more often if warranted by medical information, legal jurisprudence or experiences in other jurisdictions.

But Florida says it's standing by the way it executes inmates, despite what happened in Oklahoma.

Officials with the Department of Corrections declined to be interviewed, but Gov. Rick Scott shared his views.

"Department of Corrections works to make sure that we do it in a way that's humane," Scott said. "But let me tell you, I think every day about the families. I think about the victims."

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said she's confident in the execution process.

"I am comfortable with the drugs that we are using in our state. We have experienced no problems here in Florida," Bondi said.

"But of course we're looking at what happened in Oklahoma. The facts there, though, are very different."

Since switching to lethal injections, the state has been forced to switch lethal drugs because of shortages.

Florida was one of the last states to continue using the electric chair despite two executions in the 1990s when flames erupted from the inmate's head.

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