Crime

Rick Scott Is About to Break the Modern Record for Most Executions by a Florida Governor

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"Gov. Scott has led Florida on a killing spree of blood vengeance that is ill-advised, unnecessary, and, given Florida's national record for wrongfully convicted people released from death row, could put the blood of innocents on all our hands," says Mark Elliot, executive director of Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.

See also: Rick Scott Admits He Postponed an Inmate's Execution So Pam Bondi Could Throw a Party

Elliot adds that many death row inmates have been exonerated, making it plausible that innocent people have been wrongly executed.

"Since the 1970s, 25 people have been exonerated and released from Florida's death row. At the same time, 90 people have been executed," he says. "That's more than one exoneration for every four executions."

Scott already had the distinction of ordering more executions than any Florida governor during a first term since the death penalty was brought back in 1976, ending a ten-year moratorium as the constitutionality of capital punishment was being contested in federal courts.

Bush had the previous first-term record with 11, but Scott beat that less than three years into his term with the November 12, 2013, execution of Darius Kimbrough, who was sentenced to death for the 1991 rape and murder of 28-year-old Denise Collins.

Here's how Scott stacks up to other Florida governors since 1976:

With an entire second term to go, it's likely that Scott will increase his record tally even more. However, after Correll, there are no more executions scheduled just yet.

Although Scott has the highest kill total of any Florida governor since 1976, his rank has him tied with two other governors at fourth place for all time. Back in the first half of the 20th Century, executions in the U.S. hit an all-time high, with the majority being black men -- especially in Florida -- and sometimes even children. Between 1924 and 1964, Florida executed 196 people, with 132 of those black males, according to the Florida Department of Corrections. The youngest was Fortune Ferguson, who was only 13 when he was convicted of rape in 1924 and then executed three years later. John W. Martin was the governor at that time.



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Ray Downs
Contact: Ray Downs