The Latest From Florida’s Death Row

Bodies of ‘In Cold Blood’ Killers Exhumed in Effort to Solve 1959 Florida Slayings: Kansas officials have exhumed the bodies of two men executed for the 1959 slayings of a Kansas family made infamous in Truman Capote’s nonfiction novel, “In Cold Blood.”
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation said the bodies of Richard Hickock and Perry Smith were exhumed today at the Mount Muncie Cemetery in Lansing at the request of Florida officials.

The Sarasota County, Fla., sheriff’s office asked for the exhumation to collect DNA that could help solve the 1959 murders of Cliff and Christine Walker and their two children in Osprey, Fla.

Editorial: Florida Needs to Debate the Death Penalty:  Rhonda Swan, an editorial writer for The Palm Beach Post, writes “not only does Florida lead the nation with 21 individuals sentenced to death this year, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, it’s also No. 1 for the number of death row inmates exonerated.” Swan calls for the state’s death penalty to be halted, saying “Florida can lead the way in another direction.” And on a similar note…

Editorial: Florida’s Death Penalty Needs Fresh Look: The Tampa Bay Times editorial board calls for closer scrutiny of the state’s death penalty system, writing “Florida is long overdue for a comprehensive look at its death penalty system — an endeavor that any branch of government could launch. It is time to better understand why the state imposes the penalty disproportionately and ends up exonerating so many. Basic justice demands it.”

New Florida Capital Case:  The man accused of killing a firefighter’s wife could be put to death if convicted. State prosecutors announced they would seek the death penalty against Lance Kirkpatrick. He is suspected in the murder of Kim Dorsey. Investigators believe he killed her in the Southside home where he also served as a handyman.

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