Monday, April 21, 2008

Gov. Crist 'grateful' for Supreme Court's lethal injection decision

Sun Tallahassee Bureau

Gov. Charlie Crist is ready to begin signing death warrants after Wednesday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision clearing the use of lethal injection in a Kentucky case.

The wait for the decision had acted as a de facto hold on executions in Florida and other states.

Crist said he was “grateful that the Supreme Court rendered the decision that they did. This is a serious subject.” The governor added that courts are still considering the death row appeal of Mark Dean Schwab, a child killer, so no decision will be made on that paused process.

“In the meantime, because of the ruling … we may consider signing additional death warrants,” Crist said. He has asked Rob Wheeler of his legal staff to produce a “short list” of death row prisoners who could now receive lethal injections.

Crist said the main criteria would be how “heinous the crime” committed by the prisoners and how long they have been on death row.

“Justice delayed is justice denied and an awful lot of families of the victims have been waiting for justice to be done,” Crist said.

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