Rolling judge put on death penalty panel

Published: Sunday, January 14, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 14, 2007 at 1:11 a.m.
Circuit Judge Stan Morris of Gainesville - who sentenced serial killer Danny Rolling, executed last year for the Gainesville student murders - is among those who will serve on the Governor's Commission on Administration of Lethal Injection.
Morris, appointed by state Supreme Court Chief Justice R. Fred Lewis, is the only local person among 11 who have been named to the panel, which will study the state's lethal injection procedure following the botched execution of Angel Nieves Diaz on Dec. 13.
It took about a half-hour, or twice as long as normal, for Diaz to die. He grimaced and was given a second dose of fatal chemicals.
Doctors later concluded needles had been pushed through his veins into soft tissue, delaying the flow of chemicals into his blood stream and possibly causing pain. Gov. Jeb Bush created the panel in response to the execution.
On Friday, Gov. Charlie Crist named former Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Harry Singletary and four others to the panel. Singletary headed the agency for eight years, and the electric chair was used for executions throughout his tenure.
Crist's other appointees are:
  • Rodney Doss, Tallahassee, director of victim services for the attorney general's office.
  • Bill Jennings, Tampa, capital collateral regional counsel for the Middle District, representing Death Row inmates in court.
  • Dr. Peter Springer, Ormond Beach, Volusia County Emergency Medical Services medical director and an emergency medical physician.
  • Dr. David Varlotta, Tampa, an anesthesiologist.
    They will join five other appointees.
    Attorney General Bill McCollum previously named three members: Federal Bureau of Prisons Director Harley Lappin, Assistant Deputy Attorney General Carolyn Snurkowski and Dr. Steve Morris, a physician and project director for bioterrorism and disaster training at the University of South Florida's nursing school.
    Senate President Ken Pruitt, R-Port St. Lucie, has appointed Sen. Victor Crist, R-Tampa, who chairs the chamber's Civil and Criminal Justice Appropriations Committee. House Speaker Marco Rubio, R-Coral Gables, has yet to announce his selection.
    - From Sun staff and wire reports
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