UnNews:Executioner admits he never finished high school
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10 February 2007
TAMPA, Fla. - Chester "Chip" Nyquist, lead executioner of a convicted killer who took twice the normal time to die never finished high school, Nyquist told a panel reviewing Florida’s beheading procedures Friday.
“The guy had a really thick neck. How is that my fault?” said the executioner, testifying about the botched Dec. 13 beheading of Angel Nieves Diaz, which took 34 minutes and required a rare seven whacks of the axe.
After the botched execution, then-Gov. Jeb Bush halted executions in the state and created the panel to examine whether improvements can be made to the way beheadings are administered. Maybe going so far as to buy one of those new guillotines. The panel’s report is due to be sent to new Gov. Charlie Crist by March 1.
The executioner testified by phone and answered questions with what sounded like a muffled male voice beneath a black cowl.
The executioner last received chop training about seven years ago when Florida introduced beheadings as an alternative to the electric chair.
Also testifying by phone with what sounded like a muffled female voice was a member of the team responsible for holding Diaz down. The person said they had over 10 years experience in a clinical setting and completed at least five executions.
"I don't see what the big deal is," Nyquist said. "I did my job, the guy is dead. So it took a few more whacks than usual. Me having a high school diploma ain't gonna change that one way or another."