A hearse come at the Florida State Prison, Monday, Dec. 9, 2002, in Raiford, Fla., to pick up the human body of Linroy Bottoson, who was executed because that the murder of Catherine Alexander in 1979.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — as a jury will certainly decide the fate of convicted Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz in the coming months, gendergeek.org takes a look at some vital facts to know about the death penalty in Florida.

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Florida"s Long background of capital Punishment

Florida has a long history of capital punishment dating earlier to the 1800s.

The very first known execution in Florida remained in 1827, as soon as Benjamin Donica was hanged because that murder.

Back in those days, windy hangings were overseen and also performed through sheriffs of the counties wherein the crimes occurred.

But this changed in 1923, when the Florida Legislature abolished public hangings and instead authorized the usage of the electrical chair together a much more humane technique of execution.


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The electric chair, nicknamed "Old Sparky," is the emphasis of fist by the media throughout a rare press tour the Florida State prison in respectable 1989.

Frank Johnson was the an initial person come be executed by electrocution in Florida ~ above Oct. 7, 1924.

Electrocution to be the lone technique of execution in the Sunshine State until 2000, as soon as the controversial fatality of Allen Lee Davis triggered the state to do the move to execution by lethal injection.

Death Row

There are right now 305 detainees waiting on fatality row in Florida, follow to the Florida room of Corrections.

Of that number, simply three are women. White inmates on death row outnumber black inmates by 69. The is, there room 182 white death row inmates compared to 113 who space Black. The 10 others on death row room Hispanic or designated "other" through the Florida department of Corrections.

There were no executions in the unified States between 1967 and also 1977.

Since the U.S. Can be fried Court reinstituted the death penalty in 1976, the state the Florida has actually executed 99 murderers -- 44 by electrocution and also 55 by lethal injection.

John Arthur Spenkelink was the first to be put to fatality in Florida in the contemporary era. He to be electrocuted may 25, 1979.


man Arthur Spenkelink, right, viewed sitting alongside his attorney, Andrew Graham, at a Nov. 17, 1977, news conference, claims he keeps his psychic on legit briefs and other reading quite than on being designated first to be enforcement in Florida due to the fact that 1964.

The critical Florida execution was Gary ray Bowles top top Aug. 22, 2019.

"Old Sparky"

Florida provided the electrical chair -- recognized as "Old Sparky" -- from 1924 to 1999. The rickety wood chair was developed by detainees at Florida State Prison.

Florida"s electric chair make headlines for its plenty of malfunctions in the 1990s, namely involving the executions that Jesse Tafero, Pedro Medina and also Davis.


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The fatality chamber at Florida State prison is displayed in this Jan. 17, 1996, document photo, with the three-legged oak electric chair, nicknamed "Old Sparky." The horizontal opening listed below the clock is the home window through i m sorry the black-hooded executioner see the prisoner.

Flames were viewed shooting the end of the top of Tafero and Medina throughout their executions. It to be later established that the saline-soaked sponge stuffed in between the inmate"s head and the electrode to provide the 2,300-volt spark was replaced with a artificial sponge that recorded fire during the might 4, 1990, execution that Tafero, if the sponge used during Medina"s march 25, 1997, execution supposedly wasn"t correctly soaked in saline, bring about it come ignite.

The incidents led come a well known quote from former Florida Attorney basic Bob Butterworth.

"People that wish come commit murder, they far better not do it in the state that Florida, due to the fact that we may have actually a difficulty with our electric chair," Butterworth stated in 1997.

A brand-new "Old Sparky" to be constructed before Davis" July 8, 1999, execution. The new-and-improved "Old Sparky" had actually an flexible headrest and also a higher seat position to accommodate bigger prisoners favor Davis, who weighed 344 pounds. But the electrical contents remained the same.

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Florida State prison Warden James crossby stands through the newly created electric chair throughout a media tour Wednesday, Aug. 18, 1999.

Photographs presented to the Florida supreme Court after ~ the execution of Davis verified that he had a bloody nose.

Believe that or not, if lethal injection is the primary technique of execution in Florida, it is no the single method. Fatality row inmates may tho opt because that the electric chair. This happened as freshly as 2015, as soon as Wayne Doty request the state come electrocute the instead. Doty, who remains on death row, is the first and just prisoner to select "Old Sparky" due to the fact that electrocution came to be optional.

Florida"s many notorious fatality row inmate to fulfill his demise sitting ~ above "Old Sparky" was serial killer Ted Bundy in 1989 -- 10 years after he was sentenced to die because that murdering 2 Chi Omega students at Florida State University.

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A tearful Ted Bundy discusses his views of violence and sex throughout a tape-recorded interview through Dr. James Dobson, Jan. 23, 1989, in ~ Florida State Prison. Bundy was reserved to be enforcement the following morning.

Toxic Cocktail

Florida"s lethal injection cocktail is made up of a triple-drug formula.

According to the Florida department of Corrections, the protocol requires the usage of etomidate to sedate prisoners prior to injecting a paralytic and also then potassium chloride, which stops a prisoner"s heart.

In 2017, the Florida department of correction revised the lethal injection protocol, substituting the sedative midazolam in donate of etomidate, which had never before been supplied for executions.

Florida room of correction Secretary note Inch provided in might that he had actually reviewed the state"s lethal injection procedures and found them to be "compatible through evolving standards of decency that note the development of a maturing society, the principles of the dignity the man, and advancements in science, research, pharmacology and also technology."

The most notorious Florida sinner to die by lethal injection to be serial killer Danny Rolling, that was executed in 2006 because that the 1990 killing of four University of Florida students and also one Santa Fe College student in Gainesville.

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A hearse transferring the human body of Danny Rolling passes guards together it drives out of Florida State prison after the serial killer was executed by lethal injection Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2006, because that the murders of 5 college college student in 1990.

Marked for Death

It is as much as the governor of Florida to sign the fatality warrant that ultimately seals the fate of Florida"s following in line to it is in executed.

The sentence shall not be executed till the governor"s warrant has actually been transmitted to the warden, describe a designated date and also time of death.

In 2013, then-Gov. Stack Scott signed right into law a bill intended to expedite resources punishment.

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fatality penalty opponents show outside Florida State Prison, wherein Oba Chandler, who has has to be on death row for 17 years for the 1989 killings of an Ohio woman and her two teenage daughters, was to be executed Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011. Chandler, 65, was given a lethal injection and pronounced dead in ~ 4:25 p.m.

The law created tighter time frames because that a person sentenced to death to make appeals and post-conviction motions and imposes reporting needs on the progress.

Three year later, the U.S. Can be fried Court struck down a portion of Florida"s fatality penalty law, saying it to be not enough for a judge to recognize the aggravating determinants to be provided in considering a death sentence. The high court ruled the Florida"s legislation violated the 6th Amendment.

The Florida legislative amended the statute to comply through the decision in in march 2014 and, in law so, changed the sentencing method, inquiry a supermajority to concern a fatality sentence. If fewer 보다 10 jurors poll in donate of death, life imprisonment was imposed.

Previously, a judge chose the sentence and also the jury only provided its non-binding opinion.

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Bonnie Flassig speak to adversaries of the fatality penalty exterior Florida State prison a short time prior to the execution the Clarence Hill to be to take place Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2006. Hill winner a last-minute supreme Court stay around an hour after that was scheduled to be executed because that killing a police officer.

This brand-new law was challenged and, in October 2014, the Florida supreme Court struck it under by a 5-2 vote, finding that death sentences have the right to only be handed under by a unanimous jury.

In march 2017, the state Legislature pass a brand-new statute complying with the Florida supreme Court ruling. The also listed that, in the case of a hung jury, a life sentence should be issued.

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The governor has the best to commute the death penalty. Gov. Bob Graham granted 6 clemencies during his time in office. No other Florida governor because 1976 has granted clemency come a fatality row inmate.