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Victims families relive pain with each death row decision

January 8th, 2017 by Mike Vasilinda

Supreme Court Justice James E.C. Perry retired last Friday,  He joins a growing number of former Justices who no longer believe the death penalty remains viable. In his final opinion, Justice Perry blasted the court’s majority for setting the stage for new sentencing hearings for at least 173 death row inmates, which, Mike Vasilinda tells us, will have a lasting impact on many of the victims families.

Nearly every September, Roy Brown and his family attend the Missing Children’s Ceremony at the state Capitol. His daughter, Amanda, was seven in 1998 when she was kidnapped, killed and likely dumped in Tampa Bay. Her body has never been recovered.

“People say, do it get any better’ say her father Roy. “No sir, it do’t.”

Wilie Crain is on death row for the crime..at least for now.

Crain is one of more than 170 inmates who will get the chance to have their sentence reduced. Roy Brown says the every time Crain’s case comes up for an appeal, he’s forced to relive his anguish.

“If they’d given him a life sentence, we’d be living our life, you now? say Roy. “With this death sentence, we have to be there, hear stuff we don’t like hearing, you know, we have to deal with him. His name is still in my house, and I do’t like it!”

Retiring Justice James Perry blasted the courts majority when it ruled the  killers like Crain, whose case was final in 2004 should be re-sentenced, Perry wrote it was arbitrary. He thinks justices ignored a state law that requires every death row inmate to get life instead.

“If you’re not going to kill them, you got to lock them up like Crain” continues Roy Brown.”The one who killed my daughter is locked up and he may never die,  but he’s locked up and he ain’t hurting no more kids.”

Roy Brown suffered a heart attack in 2014.

We asked ”the stress of all this help that along?” to which Roy responded “Oh yeah, oh yeah.”

And unless a federal court overrules Florida’s Highest Court, Roy Brown is about to relive a tragedy in minute detail most of us can’t imagine

sWhen Florida switched from the electric chair to lethal injections, lawmakers rewrote the law to say that if the death penalty is every declared unconstitutional, everyone on death row would automatically get life. But the majority of the Florida Supreme Court split hairs, ignoring the statute, reasoning the ultimate penalty wasn’t declare unconstitutional by the nation’s highest court…only the way the state sentenced people to death.

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