Orlando man on death row executed for 1985 murders

30 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Florida Executes Man Convicted of Fatally Stabbing 4.

Jerry Correll, 59, was pronounced dead at 7:36 p.m. at Florida State Prison after receiving a lethal injection. ORLANDO, Florida – A Florida man was executed Thursday nearly three decades after he was convicted of fatally stabbing his ex-wife, young daughter and two in-laws. 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. McKinley Lewis, communications director for the Florida Department of Corrections, held a press briefing this afternoon providing details about Correll’s final hours before his execution. “Jerry Correll mercilessly and brutally killed four family members more than 30 years ago,” State Attorney Jeff Ashton said in a statement. “The Hines family and our community may finally get the justice a jury and judge believed is deserved.” The execution was the first in the nation since a U.S.

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. 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. Jeb Bush ordered 21 in his eight years in office and Charlie Crist ordered just five. “It’s his solemn duty to uphold the law and his foremost concern is always for the victims and their families,” said Jackie Schutz, Scott’s spokeswoman. 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. During the execution, Correll was allowed to have a lawyer and a spiritual representative in the adjacent room where witnesses can observe his final moments and hear his last words.

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. The Florida Supreme Court delayed Correll’s earlier-scheduled execution in February pending a federal death-penalty case, but they declined to do so again. On Tuesday, she said that “the courts have ruled in our favor in the past on this very issue” and called Correll’s crime a “horrible, horrible murder.” Still, Correll’s execution was concerning to opponents of the death penalty, many of whom planned to gather across the highway from the prison Thursday evening.

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. Supreme Court planning to rule on Florida’s death penalty sentencing — this is the only state where a judge issues a death sentence based on the suggestion of a jury that need not be unanimous — critics said now was not the time to move ahead with an execution.

Supreme Court to postpone the execution until it rules in a separate case on whether Florida gives judges too much power in deciding death-penalty sentences. 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.

Supreme Court rules against the state in that case, one of Correll’s attorneys, Maria DeLiberato said she was surprised the execution wasn’t delayed by a lower court. “It certainly was a surprise to us,” she said. “We certainly thought they would recognize the significance of the Hurst case and how it potentially affects Florida’s death penalty.” 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.” Correll initially told a detective that on the night of the slayings, he was outside the house, drinking and smoking marijuana with a woman who drove him to the Orlando suburb, Kissimmee. 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.

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