Florida to execute man convicted in quadruple murder

29 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

After Thursday, Scott To Surpass Record For Most Executions By Florida Governor.

Florida plans to execute on Thursday a man who was convicted of fatally stabbing his young daughter, his ex-wife and two of her relatives in a jealous rampage 30 years ago. If his execution goes forward, Correll would be the first person to be executed using the drug midazolam since a June Supreme Court decision allowing the drug’s use in a case out of Oklahoma.

The 59-year-old Correll was found guilty and sentenced to death for killing his former wife Susan Correll; their 5-year-old daughter, Tuesday; Susan Correll’s mother, Mary Lou Hines; and Susan Correll’s sister Marybeth Jones. The Hurst case challenges the constitutionality of the state’s unique death sentencing laws, which require a judge, not jury, to decide whether a person convicted of a capital crime is to get the death penalty. The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops, which staunchly opposes capital punishment, has asked Scott to commute Correll’s sentence to life in prison, said Ingrid Delgado, the group’s associate for social concerns and respect life. “Even though we did have a nice break, we are concerned that they’re starting again, and we are concerned that this is going to break the record of the most executions under one governor,” Delgado said.

On Oct. 2, the Florida Supreme Court lifted a stay of execution for Correll, who had challenged the state’s use of midazolam, a controversial drug that was at the center of a significant Supreme Court ruling in June. Correll’s attorneys subsequently argued in state court that the drug would have a uniquely cruel impact on him, due to his history of brain damage and drug use.

In a 30-page ruling, the court ruled that Correll failed to show he was “very likely to endure needless suffering upon administration of midazolam” which is part of Florida’s three-drug protocol. Correll’s execution would mark the 22nd in five years under Florida Republican Governor Rick Scott, surpassing the 21 executions conducted in eight years under former Governor Jeb Bush, who is now seeking the Republican presidential nomination.

In Oklahoma, Clayon Lockett writhed on the gurney, moaned and clenched his teeth for several minutes before prison officials tried to halt the process. This increases the risk of him being conscious while being injected with the second and third drugs, thereby violating his constitutional rights, according to his appeals.

But a legal challenge has emerged as Florida is one of just three states where death sentences don’t require a unanimous vote by the jury. “Essentially, we’re asking them not to allow the execution of someone under a statute that could be ruled unconstitutional,” attorney Maria DeLiberato said. Florida Department of Corrections spokesman McKinley Lewis said in a statement that his agency has the proper equipment to carry out Correll’s execution, but he wouldn’t discuss anything about its supply of execution drugs. Ohio has delayed all executions until 2017 because of difficulties finding drugs, while executions in Oklahoma are postponed indefinitely over concerns of its execution protocols. Correll’s child, Tuesday Correll, was “clad only in her nighty and was clutching her cloth doll when she was brutally and repeatedly attacked by her own father,” according to court documents.

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