After a two hour delay due to a last-minute appeal, Robert Waterhouse was executed tonight at 8:22 p.m. ET.
He served longer on death row than any other executed Florida inmate.
Waterhouse had a final meeting with his wife and his last meal Tuesday morning. Florida State Prison officials said Waterhouse met for two hours with his wife, Fran. He declined to meet with a minister or spiritual adviser.
They met and married while he was behind bars.
“You are about to witness the execution of a wrongly convicted and innocent man,” Waterhouse said in his final statement. He blamed his conviction on corrupt prosecutors, a prejudiced judge and a rubber-stamp appellate system. “The state broke its own law in destroying DNA evidence in my case so I could not prove my innocence. To my wife and family, I want to say I love you all and that’s it.”
According to a Miami Herald report, more than 40 people protested the execution outside the prison in a small, roped-off area across the street. Roman Catholic priest Father Phil Egitto of Daytona Beach brought more than half the group by bus.
“Violence begets violence. This is basically premeditated murder,” Egitto said. “Killing is wrong.”
The group sang songs and held up and hung signs, including some that said, “Murder is a sign. The death penalty is legal murder” and “We remember the victims but not with more killing” and “Though shalt not kill.”
Only two people stood in a similar area for death penalty supporters, Jo Ellen Isbell, 49, and her fiancé, Jay Golding, 41. They drove two hours from Citrus County.
“I read a lot about him and I just wanted to support (Kammerer),” Isbell said, saying she also drove up for the execution of Oba Chandler in November, the only other time she’s made the trip to Starke for an execution. “My heart breaks for the family and I am very much for what’s happening.”