Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Martin Anderson Bill Signed

Good for Charlie Crist. He signed the bill to pay Martin Anderson's family restitution.

"Today, justice will be done."

That's how Gov. Charlie Crist opened the signing of the $5-million Martin Lee Anderson claims bill. With the boy's parents at his side, Crist said, "We will never know what you have endured and what you had to go through. And we are so sorry for your loss."

Anderson's life was literally snuffed out by guards. The second autopsy findings are telling.

Hillsborough County Chief Medical Examiner Vernard I. Adams conducted a second autopsy after Anderson's family, other medical experts and civil rights leaders balked at the conclusion of the first examination.

"Martin Anderson's death was caused by suffocation due to actions of the guards at the boot camp," Adams wrote.

"The suffocation was caused by manual occlusion of the mouth, in concert with forced inhalation of ammonia fumes that caused spasm of the vocal cords resulting in internal blockage of the upper airway."

But an attorney for Lt. Charles Helms, one of the guards, told CNN that he was disappointed by Adams' findings.

The guards had no medical training or authorization to use the ammonia capsules. The video makes it obvious they weren't trying to wake Anderson up. The ammonia was used as a disciplinary measure. The guards felt Anderson was slacking and wanted to teach him a lesson. The medical way to revive a person is not to punch and restrain.

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