Thursday, May 23, 2019

On the day the state executes a serial killer, here's a look at Florida's death penalty by the numbers

Posted By on Thu, May 23, 2019 at 12:29 PM

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Serial killer Bobby Joe Long is scheduled to be executed at 6 p.m. Thursday at Florida State Prison for the 1984 murder of Michelle Simms in Hillsborough County.

Long would be the first Death Row inmate executed since Gov. Ron DeSantis took office in January. But Florida has a long history of executions after the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, following a four-year hiatus stemming from a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

Here is a by-the-numbers look at the death penalty in Florida, according to information from the state Department of Corrections:
  • 1924: The year Frank Johnson became the first inmate executed in the state’s electric chair. A 2000 law allowed the use of lethal injection.
  • 2: The number of prisons where men on Death Row are housed. They are Florida State Prison and Union Correctional Institution.
  • 1: The number of prisons where women on Death Row are housed. They are held at Lowell Annex.
  • 97: Number of executions since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. The first execution after reinstatement was of John Spenkelink in 1979.
  • 28: Number of inmates executed under former Gov. Rick Scott, the most of any governor since the death penalty was reinstated.
  • 8: Largest number of executions in a year since the death penalty was reinstated. That occurred in 1984 and 2014.
  • 0: The number of executions that occurred in 1980, 1981, 1982 and 2007.
  • 44.9: Average age of inmates executed.
  • 341: Number of Death Row inmates as of Monday.
  • 202: Number of white males on Death Row.
  • 127: Number of black males on Death Row.
  • 9: Number of male Death Row inmates classified as “other.”
  • 1: Number of white females on Death Row.
  • 2: Number of black females on Death Row.
  • 80: Age of oldest Death Row inmate, Nelson Serrano, who was convicted of murdering four people in 1997 in Polk County. Next oldest is William Kelley, 76, who was convicted in a Highlands County case.
  • 26: Age of youngest Death Row inmate, Benjamin Smiley, who was convicted in a 2013 murder in Polk County. Next youngest are Michael Bargo, 27, who was convicted in a Marion County case, and David Sparre, 27, who was convicted in a Duval County case.
  • 7: The number of life sentences Bobby Joe Long is serving for murders, along with the death sentence in the murder of Michelle Simms.
  • 150: The amount in dollars paid to the executioner, who is allowed to remain anonymous under state law.

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