Broward News

Florida Death-Row Facts, Including Last-Meal Parameters and the Executioner's Paycheck

It's been nearly 20 months since the last execution of a prisoner by the State of Florida, and in anticipation of South Florida cop killer Manuel Valle's lethal injection at 4 p.m. today, we decided today would be a good day to drop some death-row knowledge.

Valle, 61, was convicted of killing Coral Gables police officer Louis Pena in April 1978 and just passed his 30th year on death row last month. And someone's going to be paid $150 for administering his lethal injection this afternoon.

Check out some of the Pulp's favorite Florida death-row facts after the jump, all courtesy of the Florida Department of Corrections:

  • The executioner is a private citizen who may remain anonymous and gets paid $150 per execution.

  • After the governor signs an inmate's death warrant, the inmate is moved to a "Death Watch" cell, which -- at 12 feet long, 7 feet wide, and 8.5 feet high -- is more than 200 cubic feet larger than the regular death-row cell.

  • When the prisoner goes on "Death Watch," he or she is allowed both a legal and a social phone call.

  • A prisoner's last meal before execution must be purchased locally and cost no more than $40 to "avoid extravagance."

  • Only Florida's death-row inmates wear orange shirts, but they wear the same blue pants as the other inmates.

  • The most people executed in the state in one year was six in 2000.

  • The youngest prisoners executed were both 16 years old -- Willie Clay on December 29, 1941, and James Davis on October 9, 1944.

  • The oldest was Charlie Giffords, who was executed on February 21, 1951, at age 72.

  • There are currently four women on death row in Florida, compared to 393 men.

  • On average, death-row inmates are executed 14.2 years after they committed the crime.

  • The electric chair is still an option for prisoners as a method of execution.

  • The Associated Press and United Press International are always guaranteed two of the ten to 12 spots in the reporter pool, and at least one reporter in the group must be from a news outlet that covers the county in which the prisoner's crime was committed.

  • Two notable serial killers have been executed in Florida prisons: Aileen Wuornos and Ted Bundy.

  • Manuel Valle will be the first Florida prisoner subject to the new sedative drug pentobarbital as part of the lethal injection process.

And here's the execution chamber:

You can find a ton of information about Florida's prison system, as well as even more tidbits about the lives of death-row inmates, at the Florida Department of Corrections website by clicking here.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley