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Florida Asks to Resume Executions

California Department of Corrections
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is asking the state Supreme Court to allow officials to execute a man convicted of murdering four people in Orlando.

Bondi asked the court Monday to lift the stay on the execution of Jerry Correll now that the U.S Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a sedative that is used in lethal injections in Florida.

She also said in a statement the U.S. Supreme Court ruling should allow the state to move forward with future executions.

There have been 21 inmates executed under Gov. Rick Scott, the same number put to death under former Gov. Jeb Bush. The executions under Bush occurred over his full two terms, while Scott has just begun his second term.

"Our office respects the court's decision and will continue to follow the law," said John Tupps, a spokesman for Scott. "The governor's foremost concern is for the victims of these heinous crimes and their families."

Correll's execution was halted in February. The 59-year-old man was convicted of the 1985 killing of his former mother-in-law, Mary Lou Hines; his ex-wife, Susan Correll; her sister Marybeth Jones; and the former couple's 5-year-old daughter. The three women were each stabbed at least 14 times, and the girl was stabbed at least 10 times. Prosecutors said bloody fingerprints and palm prints, along with other physical evidence, linked Correll to the crime scene.

The state court halted the execution because the U.S. Supreme Court put executions on hold in Oklahoma while it examined concerns raised about the use of midazolam as the first in a three-drug mix used in lethal injections.

The Florida Supreme Court has previously reviewed the use of midazolam and found it to be effective at rendering inmates unconscious before the second and third drugs are used to paralyze them and then stop their hearts. Florida has used the drug in 11 executions with no apparent problems.