The man identified as Eric Scott Branch, originally from IN, raped and murdered 21-year-old University of West Florida student Susan Morris IN 1993, just two month after he was released from a correction facility IN November 1992 after his conviction for sexual battery of a 14-year-old girl IN his hometown.
Minutes earlier, he had just been addressing corrections officers, saying it should fall to Florida Gov. Rick Scott and his attorney general to carry out the death sentence - not to those workers present.
"Let them come down here and do it", Branch told the Florida State Prison officers on Thursday evening (Friday NZ Time), according to the Associated Press. "I've learned that you are good people and this is not what you should be doing", he added.
Moments later - as the 47-year-old death-row inmate began to receive the lethal injection drugs - he started to squirm and shout.
Branch was pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m. Thursday after receiving the injection at Florida State Prison in Starke.
A 47-year-old Florida inmate who was convicted of raping and killing a college student in 1993 was executed with a lethal injection at Florida State Prison.
Florida has executed a man convicted of raping and killing a college student in 1993 so he could steal her auto.
"My last statement is for you guys", he said, directing his attention to the team warden and two other officials standing beside him in the execution chamber, reported the Pensacola News-Journal.
He was convicted over the 2003 murder of his mother and brother. In court documents, Branch's lawyers say this prohibits about 150 Florida death-row inmates from having their sentences reviewed.
"I was left with two choices: Either celebrate her, or have anger against him forever, and I chose to celebrate Susan".
"She had been beaten, stomped, sexually assaulted and strangled. She bore numerous bruises and lacerations, both eyes were swollen shut", according to the AP. The court ruled about 9 p.m. that the execution could proceed, after delaying it for three hours to consider the final appeals. Branch dragged Morris into a nearby wooded area where he severely beat her in the face and head, strangled her, and sexually battered her. Branch then left Morris' body in a shallow grave covered with dirt and leaves, and stole her vehicle to flee out of the state.
Florida's old capital punishment system was ruled unconstitutional in 2016, but cases before 2002 were not made exempt under the new law, so Branch's appeal was deemed unsuccessful.
The high court said juries must reach a unanimous recommendation for death and judges can not overrule that and Florida legislators subsequently changed the system to comply. Florida legislators subsequently changed the system to comply.
Branch claimed in a last-minute appeal that the Florida court's decisions on which inmates get new sentencing hearings and which do not is unfair and arbitrary.