Some of the latest headlines from Florida’s death row:
Fla. Jury Convicts Man in Professor’s Slaying: A South Florida man is facing the death penalty after a jury convicted him of killing a Nova Southeastern University professor. Jurors will decide later whether to send 45-year-old Randy Tundidor Sr. to Florida’s death row.
Editorial: Dollars and Sense of Capital Punishment: Some 14 death row inmates in Florida have been cleared by DNA testing, after spending an average of 20 years on death row. Outside of the old Confederacy, that might be cause enough to reexamine the underlying morality of capital punishment.
Appeals Court Denies New Trial for Florida Death Row Inmate: A federal appeals court has reversed a judge’s decision to grant a new trial to a death row inmate convicted in the 1995 slaying and mutilation of a Kissimmee woman. A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday said the judge who ordered a new trial for Scott Mansfield engaged in his own “fact-finding process” and failed to accept findings from the Florida Supreme Court.
Charles M. Harris: Why Florida Should Abolish the Death Penalty: In a recent op-ed in the Gainesville Sun, Florida Judge Charles M. Harris called the state’s capital punishment system “totally defective” and “far less satisfactory” than alternatives like life without parole. Judge Harris, who has been on the bench for over 20 years, argued that life without parole “has rendered death by execution redundant and the amount we spend on it wasted.”
Thomas Bakkedahl: Florida’s death penalty a legitimate form of punishment, a deterrent and should continue to be used: And in a differing opinion from Judge Harris’s, chief assistant state attorney in the 19th Judicial Circuit Thomas Bakkedahl argues for capital punishment.
Convicted Fla. serial killer back for 4th trial: A convicted serial killer is now faces a fourth trial in the 1986 fatal stabbing of a Tampa area woman. Oscar Ray Bolin is now on trial in Florida for the fourth time in the murder of Natalie Blanche Holley, a 25-year-old who was stabbed eight times in 1986. Bolin’s case is famous both for the brutal killings themselves as well as the odd love story of the woman who began working on his defense team and ended up leaving her husband to marry him.