Florida death row inmate Marshall Lee Gore, scheduled to be executed tonight, has been given another last-minute stay, his second one in a little more than two weeks.
Gore, who received two death sentences for the 1988 killings of Susan Roark and Robyn Novick, was only an hour away from execution June 24, when his first reprieve came through. The lethal injection was temporarily stayed by the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in order to hear arguments from Gore’s attorneys that he is insane, and therefore ineligible for execution.
That appeal was denied a few days later on June 28, when judges ruled he had not met the necessary criteria for halting the execution. The stay was lifted and a new execution date was set for today.
But Gore got another reprieve Tuesday when a judge ordered more hearings. From David Ovalle for the Miami Herald:
On Tuesday, a Bradford County circuit judge agreed with Gore’s defense lawyers and found “reasonable grounds” that the Death Row inmate was too insane to be executed.
Circuit Judge Ysleta McDonald ordered that more hearings be held to determine Gore’s mental state and whether his execution may proceed without violating the Supreme Court’s ruling banning the execution of the mentally incompetent.
Hearing on insanity issue for #DeathRow inmate Marshall Gore (Wed execution stayed) will be Monday before Bradford Judge Ysleta McDonald.
— David Ovalle (@DavidOvalle305) July 10, 2013
One of Gore’s attorneys, Todd Scher, told the Sun Sentinel, “he has a long history of mental illness and delusional behavior and all of that needs to be brought to the court’s attention. The law is very clear that somebody who is not sane cannot be executed.”
The additional last-minute reprieve frustrated the victims’ family members, some of whom planned to attend the execution.
Neal Nydam, former Columbia investigator on Susan Roark murder, tells me family upset but “understanding” of second Gore execution stay
— David Ovalle (@DavidOvalle305) July 9, 2013
“I don’t know why we have to protect individuals like this when it was clearly shown that he was responsible for the death,” Novick’s cousin Phil Novick told the Sentinel in a telephone interview Tuesday. “When he finally does meet his end, I’ll just forget about him like last Wednesday’s trash. It’s like putting down a dog. Just a wasted life and an all-lose situation all the way around.”
Stay of Execution Lifted for Marshall Gore