Florida executes man convicted of fatally stabbing 4

30 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Florida executes Jerry Correll over four murders in 1985.

Correll, 59, was convicted and sentenced to death for the four killings: his ex-wife Susan Correll, their five-year-old daughter Tuesday, Susan’s mother Mary Lou Hines and her sister Marybeth Jones in Orlando.

Florida on Thursday executed a man convicted of fatally stabbing his young daughter, ex-wife and two of her relatives in a jealous rampage 30 years ago, marking the state’s second execution this year.The 59-year-old Orlando man was pronounced dead at 7:36 p.m. at the prison after receiving a lethal-injection of the controversial sedative, midazolam. Florida Department of Corrections spokesman McKinley Lewis said Correll had a cheeseburger, French fries and Coca-Cola for his last meal at around 10am. Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor dissented, saying Correll’s execution should be delayed while the court decides whether Florida’s capital punishment system is constitutional. He became the 22nd inmate to be executed under Governor Rick Scott – the most executions under a single governor since the death penalty was reinstated in Florida in 1979.

Correll’s execution was put off in February while the Supreme Court considered a case about whether a sedative used in lethal injections is effective and constitutional. Correll’s attorneys argued that midazolam alone would not be strong enough to knock him out given his history of alcohol abuse and subsequent brain damage. ‘It’s his solemn duty to uphold the law and his foremost concern is always for the victims and their families,’ Jackie Schutz, Scott’s spokeswoman, told the Miami Herald. Correll initially told a detective that on the night, he was outside the house, drinking and smoking marijuana with a woman who drove him to Kissimmee, a suburb in Orlando suburb. But investigators said he had scratches, cuts and bruises on his hands and arms, and they matched his fingerprints and palm prints with others found at the crime scene.

Correll was sentenced to Florida’s death row for the 1985 murders of his former wife, Susan Correll, 25, and their 5-year-old daughter, Tuesday, at their home in the Orlando area. A group of Oklahoma death-row inmates said the drug was ineffective in adequately making inmates unconscious, and point to botched executions where inmates have shown signs they are suffering from pain by gasping and clenching their fists. In a 5-4 ruling in June in a challenge brought by three Oklahoma death row inmates, the high court cleared the drug for use, finding midazolam did not violate the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Correll showed up to the scene, with cuts to his hand and acted “inappropriately” for a man who just found out his daughter and ex-wife were killed, Orange County Sheriff’s deputies said at the time.

A jury of 10 women and 2 men, selected in Sarasota because all the publicity locally, convicted Correll of four counts of first-degree murder after a week-long trial. James Stroker said in sentencing Correll to death called Tuesday’s death “especially heinous, atrocious and cruel.” A doctor at the trial said she lived for about 5 minutes before losing consciousness. “It is difficult to imagine the degree of emotional anguish suffered by that dying child,” Stroker wrote. “She had apparently witnessed the brutal murder of her mother and experience the horror of her own father repeatedly driving a sharp knife in her chest.”

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