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State of Florida's clemency board as new governor takes reins

With 343 men and women currently on Death Row in Florida, the state has the second largest Death Row population in the country.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state's clemency board are meeting Wednesday. The board meets a few times each year, but no Florida governor has granted clemency to a Death Row inmate in over 35 years.

Former Gov. Rick Scott signed 28 death warrants -- the most of any Florida governor. DeSantis has not signed a death warrant since becoming governor, but he is a death penalty supporter. 

The most recent Jacksonville inmate to be put to death was Mark Asay who killed two people in Jacksonville in the late 1980s. He granted a Death Row interview to News4Jax anchor Tom Wills

Asay was the first inmate to be executed following a temporary halt of executions while the state changed death penalty sentencing rules following a Supreme Court ruling.

Two of the most recent inmates to be sent to Death Row are from Northeast Florida. 

James Colley shot and killed his estranged wife and her best friend inside a St. Johns County home several years ago, and Donald Smith raped and strangled 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle in Jacksonville in 2013. 


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