New Execution Date for John Errol Ferguson

From The Associated Press:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Gov. Rick Scott has rescheduled the execution of a mass killer for Oct. 23 after he lost another appeal to the Florida Supreme Court.

Scott acted shortly after the justices Wednesday upheld a lower court decision that John Errol Ferguson is competent to be executed.

Ferguson is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court and seeking a stay of execution there.

The 64-year-old death row inmate was convicted of killing eight people in South Florida. Six victims died in a drug related, execution-style mass killing in Carol City in 1977. Two Hialeah teenagers were slain on their way to a church meeting in 1978.

The state justices upheld findings by Scott and trial judge that Ferguson, although mentally ill, is legally competent because he understands the implications of being executed.

Related Reading:

New Execution Date Set for John Errol Ferguson

Update on Upcoming Florida Execution of John Errol Ferguson

Lawyers Say Florida Death Row Inmate is Likely Insane, Ask Governor to Delay Execution

New Florida Death Warrant

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8 thoughts on “New Execution Date for John Errol Ferguson

  1. The source has pulled the article that states his execution has been scheduled for the 23rd…do you know any reason why this is? x

    • admin says:

      Hey Lynne, I’m not sure why that happened, although I was surprised to see that article. I was under the impression that they would not set a new execution date until the 2-day stay expired at 4 p.m. I’ll see what I can dig up…

  2. c says:

    Hello, I am the son of one of the men among the group of six that Ferguson killed. I was anti death penalty until a relative alerted me to what is happening with the Ferguson case; now my feelings are running in both directions. I don’t believe Ferguson’s death will bring me any relief or closure however my sister is convinced it will help her deal with the lasting pain and is anxious to see him put to death. Ferguson took so much from my family that if there is the slightest possibility that his death will help my sister then I guess I’m for it; on those grounds alone. I don’t believe for one moment that Ferguson is mentally ill. As a result of his actions I grew up in a single parent home in an extremely violent neighborhood; a situation unfortunately faced by millions of African American males including Ferguson. Additionally, I have suffered from emotional scarring and chronic depression for most of my life. Notwithstanding my background and mental illness I’ve never killed anyone or participated in a pattern of violent or abusive activity. I can not begin to describe to you the pain I’ve experienced for the last 35 years after losing my dad. I’ve often been suicidal when dealing with the hurt caused by Ferguson. I’ve seen others in my family turn to drugs ruining their lives in the process trying to deal with the pain. That said, I don’t hate Ferguson, I don’t hate anyone. But like I said before, if my sister can find peace as a result of his death, then that is a small price to pay for what has been taken from us. Our father wasn’t taken, our lives; our souls; our hope, faith, joy, our very futures were taken. Yes, we’re both college educated and have lived as contributing members of society however we both live as shells; as fragments of a whole person – we both have lived a bitter, painful and tumultuous life since the day our dad was executed. I’ve toyed with the idea of visiting Ferguson. I wanted to meet the man who had as much of an impact on my life as any by, ironically, taking the life of the man that gave me life. Ferguson stole the lives of not only those he murdered but also of the fatherless children he left behind. We have lived as broken people & we will die as broken people. I’m not sure why I’m telling you all this, I guess I just felt like someone should know.


    • Hello C, I really appreciate you sharing your story. It is so important that we listen…really reallly hear you and try to understand the situation from all perspectives and I am truly very saddened by murder of your father and the subsequent pain that you have felt throughout your life. I cannot imagine how difficult it has been and no doubt continues to be. I totally understand your sister’s point of view and yours and whilst I don’t believe it should be necessary to kill Ferguson in order to alleviate that pain, I hope that if he is put to death, that you and your sister do feel peace. I truly do. I am very grateful for having the opportunity to read and try to understand the terrible situation you are in and have been. It is just all very sad and troubling. I too suffer with depression and have done all my life having gone through various traumas, although I am not suggesting I have any idea what it has been like for you. I hope you can find some peace C and that your mental health improves. Love and hugs xx Lynne

      • @Lynne: Thank you so much for these words:

        [quote]..It is so important that we listen…really reallly hear you and try to understand the situation from all perspectives… [/quote]

        I’m engaged in the fight against capital punishment since 2002 and I had to learn that it is important that we listen to the death penalty proponents, too. Even if they are “hard core proponents” like the men and women over at Crime & Consequences. Unfortunately for this point of view I took a lot of criticism – even the question on whose side I am…But I really think it is important to listen and to discuss without hatred. Often enough both sides call each other names – and don’t discuss.

        @c: Thank you for sharing your hurt & loss. If I could I would take the next plane and visit you, so we can listen to each other and share our thoughts. Unfortunately I can’t visit you. But feel free to send me an e-mail. You can find my e-mail address here.


  3. The judge decided Ferguson is sane because he sounds like a “relatively normal Christian.” Any Christians offended by this? Check out my blog post on madness and the Bible at

  4. M says:

    Hey C
    I dont think that he should be put on death row; not because he doesnt deserve it but because when he is executed, he wont suffer for his crimes. Furthermore, in jail he will suffer for the rest of his life and not be put to a quick painless death. Please tell your sister that statistics have proven that having the murderer killed doesnt help the family of the victims feel better. Besides wont someone killing him make them stoop to the same level? This is only my opinion though and it is up to you to decide what to do. If you still end up wanting him on Death Row them I truly respect your opinion

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