Florida doesn’t have any scheduled executions on the books and is in the midst of it’s longest stretch without one since the Governor’s first year in office. As Matt Galka tells us, inmates on death row continue to appeal, with another death penalty debate brewing.
This 2008 video from a St. Petersburg convenience store captured the murders of two people at the hands of Khadafy Mullens. A judge sentenced Mullens to death for the crimes in 2013. His lawyer made his appeal to Florida’s Supreme Court Thursday.
Mullens is one of 395 inmates on Florida’s death row, second only to California. Charles Grover Brant is another. He admitted to killing his neighbor in Hillsborough County and was sentenced to death in 2007. His appeals attorney argued his previous counsel failed him.
“He was born with a bad brain because of lack of pre-natal care, and his lawyers failed to investigate his case,” said attorney Marie-Louise Samuels Parmer.
The state hasn’t carried out an execution since January. They were temporarily on hold while a decision was made on the legality of lethal injection drugs. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the drugs use in June, and a circuit judge in Florida did the same earlier this week. Brant’s lawyer still says the death penalty in the state needs a review.
“We have a huge death row population, it’s a tremendous burden on the tax dollars, it doesn’t deter crime, and I think it’s something that we really should take a look at,” she said.
Florida’s current Governor is tied with Jeb Bush for most executions under a Governor’s watch since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.
The United States Supreme Court will consider a case in its next term on whether or not juries need to be unanimous when recommending a death sentence. Currently, a unanimous decision is not required.
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