Florida Death Row Inmate Reportedly Commits Suicide

A Florida death row inmate at Union Correctional Institution has reportedly committed suicide, according to another inmate and prison visitors.

On his blog, Death Row Diary, William Van Poyck wrote: “a death row prisoner across the river at UCI committed suicide about 2 weeks ago (Carlos Delgado was his name).”

There was no Carlos Delgado on the Florida death row roster, however, there was a Jesus Delgado, who is now listed as deceased as of January 5. A representative for the Department of Corrections confirmed that he was deceased but said they could not release more details at this time.

Delgado, 47, tried to commit suicide in 2000, when according to a DOC press release, “Correctional officers found inmate Delgado on the floor of his cell about 1:00 am, removing a homemade rope from his neck made out of material from his inmate uniform. He was immediately treated by medical staff at the prison and then transported to University Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville for additional treatment and observation.”

It appears from an article written shortly after his suicide attempt that it was prompted by a proposal from the Department of Corrections to ban death row inmates from hugging and kissing their visiting family members. The article reported that “the no-touching proposal already has triggered an eight-day hunger strike by about 250 death row inmates, a suicide attempt by one condemned man, criticism from a Republican lawmaker and even the formation of an advocacy group of families of death row inmates.”

In his April 2000 suicide note, Delgado said:

“I have decided to give up my life in protest against this horrible atrocity that the state of Florida is subjecting upon us who are sentenced to die,” he wrote in Spanish. “They have decided that we no longer are to have any contact visits. The little bit that we now have will be taken away from us without any logical reason only to hurt us due to discerning biases against us who are sentenced to die by this state.

“I, Jesus Delgado, #658187, prefer to die before accepting this stupid rule that is senseless. If I cannot kiss or hug my dearest mother and my family members, then what sense is my corporal existence have in this world….The fact that we have been condemned to die does not signify that we are to be entombed alive in a building.”

Delgado was given two death sentences in Dade County in 1996 for the killings of Tomas and Violetta Rodriguez. According to the case summary given by the Florida Commission on Capital Cases, the couple were killed in their home on the evening of August 30, 1990. The Rodriguezes had sold their dry-cleaning business to Horatio Lamellas, whose daughter rain it, along with Delgado, who was her boyfriend. He had complained to the Rodriguezes that the machines did not work properly. Delgado became a suspect due to the evidence found at the crime scene and his complaints about the dry-cleaning business. He was not arrested until Dec. 23, 1992, more than two years after the crimes.

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