Florida executed a 59-year-old convicted killer on 29 October for the 1985 murders of his young daughter, ex-wife and her family members. Jerry Correll became the second death row inmate to be executed in Florida in 2015.
According to the Department of Corrections spokesman McKinley Lewis, the Orlando man was pronounced dead at 7.36pm after receiving the lethal injection. Correll's execution was delayed around 90 minutes after a petition for a stay of execution was denied by the US Supreme Court, Reuters reported. However, two of the nine Supreme Court justices, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor, publicly dissented.
Reuters reported that Correll's original execution was scheduled for February but was postponed as the Supreme Court weighed a challenge to the sedative midazolam. The drug was eventually cleared by the High Court in a 5-4 June ruling. However, Correll's lawyers argued the drug would have a particularly cruel impact on him due to his history of drug use and brain damage.
A Florida state circuit judge ruled against Correll in August, leading the Florida Supreme Court to lift his stay of execution earlier in October. Lewis told reporters that Correll had no apparent reaction to the drugs and did not make a final statement.
Correll began his last day at 6am and ate his last meal — a cheeseburger, chips and a Coke — at 10am, the Orlando Sentinel reported. He had been on death row after stabbing to death his 25-year-old ex-wife Susan Correll, their five-year-old daughter Tuesday, Susan's 48-year-old mother Mary Lou Hines and her 29-year-old sister Marybeth Jones in a jealous fit of rage.
A statement from the family of his victims issued after the execution said: "The consequences of [Correll's] actions should be no less than death itself. It has taken a long time for his punishment to be fulfilled, but we have chosen to use that time to heal and move forward."
The Orlando Sentinel reported that he spoke with his spiritual advisor and daughter prior to his execution. It reportedly took 10 minutes for the midazolam to kill Correll.