TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - After Wednesday night's execution, 18 Florida inmates have been put to death since Gov. Rick Scott took office. While the pace of executions is increasing, the number of inmates on death row isn't getting any smaller.
"The sentence of the state of Florida was carried out at 7:43 p.m.," Department of Corrections spokeswoman Jessica Cary said after John Henry was put to death Wednesday night. The 63-year-old was convicted and sentenced to death for fatally stabbing his wife, Suzanne Henry. He also was convicted of fatally stabbing Suzanne Henry's 5-year-old son hours after the woman's murder.
At Florida State Prison on Wednesday night, the niece and cousin of the victims said she had to wait 29 years for justice.
"I just want to thank the state for finally taking care of this. It's been a long time coming" Selena Geiger said.
It took Rick Scott almost 10 months after taking office to order the first execution, but the pace is increasing. He has now put more inmates to death than any other governor in a single term.
Jeb Bush sent 21 convicts to their maker while governor, but it took him eight years.
Scott has already signed a death warrant setting a July 10 date for the execution of Eddy Wayne Davis, who raped and murdered an 11-year-old girl.
It's a duty he says he never thought about when he was seeking the office.
"Look, executions are a solemn duty of the governor. It's not something I thought about when I was going to run, but I uphold the laws of the land," Scott said.
And while Scott has authorized 18 executions in about three years, 64 more people were placed on death row. But the new legislation streamlining the process and many convicts having exhausted their appeals, more frequent executions appear likely.
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