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Danish manufacturer of lethal injection drug twice asked Scott not to use it to kill prisoners

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011 by Dara Kam

The Danish manufacturer of the controversial drug now being used to execute prisoners pleaded with Gov. Rick Scott twice to abandon its use, saying it “contradicts everything we are in business to do.”

Staffan Schüberg, president of Lundbeck Inc., wrote to Scott twice before the first-term governor signed his first death warrant ordering Manuel Valle to be executed on Aug. 2.

“We are adamantly opposed to the use of Nembutal to execute prisoners because it contradicts everything we are in business to do – provide therapies that improve people’s lives,” Schüberg wrote to Scott on May 16.

On Monday, the Florida Supreme Court stayed the execution of Manuel Valle until Sept. 1 and ordered a hearing on the new protocol. Attorney General Pam Bondi yesterday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to vacate the stay.

The evidentiary hearing on the drug is scheduled for tomorrow morning in Miami.


State shutting down three prisons

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011 by Dara Kam

Florida’s new corrections department secretary is shutting down three prisons, two boot camps and a road prison.

DOC Secretary Edwin Buss said the closures will save the state $30.8 million this year and $25 million annually in the future.

The Department will close the Brevard Correctional Institution (CI) in Cocoa, Hendry CI in Immokalee, Hillsborough CI in Riverview, Tallahassee Road Prison in Tallahassee, Lowell CI Boot Camp and Sumter Boot Camp. Additionally the Department will move close management inmates out of Charlotte CI in Punta Gorda to three other prisons.

The department has a surplus of beds for the first time in recent history.

The phase out plan will begin immediately with a target completion date of June 30, 2011.

Scott admin bans smoking in prisons

Monday, March 14th, 2011 by Dara Kam

Gov. Rick Scott’s administration is snuffing out smoking in prisons, saying the habit cost taxpayers $9 million in smoking-related prisoner illnesses last year.

Department of Corrections Secretary Edwin Buss said in a press release this morning he’s giving inmates six months to quit before the smoking ban goes into effect. The department will offer smoking cessation programs to inmates asking for help quitting, according to the release.

Prison workers will be allowed to smoke in designated areas outside the prison fences.

Scott makes first agency head hires

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010 by Dara Kam

Gov.-elect Rick Scott has hired Indiana Corrections Commissioner Edwin G. Buss as Florida’s corrections secretary and Wal-Mart executive Bryan W. Koon to head the state’s emergency management division.

The pair – both former military men – are the first Scott has named to head his executive agencies before taking office on Jan. 4.

Here’s what Scott had to say about Buss in a press release issued late this afternoon:
Buss brings to Florida nearly twenty-four years of hands-on experience in corrections, emergency response, public safety, supervision and budgeting. As Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Corrections and a key member of Governor Mitch Daniels’ cabinet, Buss was responsible for over 7,500 employees, 26,000 inmates, 10,000 parolees throughout the state’s corrections facilities. Prior to serving as Commissioner, Buss served as Superintendent of two Indiana prisons where he refined Death Row and execution procedures, implemented accountability metrics and implemented a safe prison initiative. Throughout his career, Buss has been successful in implementing innovative policies that improve operations while reducing wasteful spending.

And here’s Koon’s biography from the press release announcing his appointment:
Koon brings to Florida nearly twenty years’ experience managing tactical and strategic emergencies in the military, government and private sector. In his current role as Director of Emergency Management for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Koon is responsible for the emergency management operations of over 8,500 facilities worldwide. He is an acknowledged expert in the fields of emergency preparedness, disaster response, continuity of operations and continuity of government. Koon’s broad and varied experience includes several years in the White House Military Office where he developed, maintained and implemented high level, classified programs to ensure continuity of government and continuity of operations in the wake of a tactical or natural disaster. He also served the nation with distinction as a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy, both active duty and in the Navy Reserve.

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