News From Florida’s Death Row

Editorial: How Florida’s Death Penalty Is Killing Us: Now is the time that Florida must reform its criminal justice system by taking a closer look at what Florida’s death penalty says about us as a civilization, as well as the 401 people who are currently on Florida’s death row. Some argue and believe that having Florida’s death penalty somehow discourages murder. Yet, the statistics tell another story. For instance, in 2010 the average murder rate in states with death penalties was 4.6 per 100,000 while the average murder rate for states without the death penalty was only 2.9 per 100,000.

New Florida Death Sentence: Convicted Killer Gets Two Death Sentences in 2009 Titusville Double Murder:  Terence Tabius Oliver was given two death sentences in a Viera courtoom last week for a double murder from 2009. Oliver, 36, was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder following a jury trial in March. Oliver allegedly shot and killed Andrea Richardson, 36, and Krystal Pinson, 25, at Richardson’s Titusville home on July 21, 2009.

Death Row Inmate’s Appeal Denied in 1976 Slaying of Teen:  Accused in the 1976 shooting death of a Bonita Springs teenager he once dated, Harold Gene Lucas has sat on Florida’s death row for more than 35 years. But his time there could be coming to an end.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta on Friday denied Lucas’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus, which would have allowed him to appear in court for the government to determine whether it has the right to keep him incarcerated. Although further appeals are likely, “his options are wearing thin,” said Samantha Syoen, a spokeswoman for the State Attorney’s Office.

Florida Jury Recommends Death for Timothy Fletcher: Convicted killer Timothy Wayne Fletcher should be executed for choking his step-grandmother after a jailbreak, a jury says. It took the jury an hour to reach the decision Tuesday afternoon, faster than the 98 minutes it took them to find Fletcher guilty of murder and other crimes during a 2009 spree. The jury voted 8-4 in favor of the death penalty.

Woman Could Face Death if Convicted of 2010 Beating and Burning Death: The trial of a Pensacola area woman facing the death penalty in a 2010 beating and killing is set to begin today. If convicted as charged, Brown would face one of two possible penalties: life in prison or the death penalty.

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