Moments earlier, he had addressed the prison officers in the room saying that, instead of them carrying out the death sentence, it should have been governor Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi.
"It is a very humane way to carry out a serious sentence of death, which I believe is a deterrent to people committing crime", Pittman, a Republican from Montrose, said.
Outside the prison, Herman Lindsey joined anti-death penalty protesters.
Evidence in the case shows that Branch approached Ms Morris after she left a night class on January 11, 1993, so he could steal her red Toyota and return to his home state of Indiana. He was arrested while traveling there. "The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied", the Supreme Court said in a statement.
Morris "had been beaten, stomped, sexually assaulted and strangled".
Branch also was convicted of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in IN and of another sexual assault in Panama City, Florida, that took place just 10 days before the fatal attack on Morris, court records show. Branch was sentenced under the state's old capital punishment system which did not require a unanimous jury verdict. Florida legislators subsequently changed the system to comply.
An Alabama inmate is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to look at his case just hours before he is scheduled for execution.
Montgomery, Alabama - Alabama stood ready Thursday to execute an inmate who argued there is an increased risk of a botched execution because of damage to his veins from lymphoma and other illnesses.
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. The court ruled about 9 p.m. that officials could proceed with the execution.
He eventually died and the Department of Corrections said there was no indication of problems with the lethal injection procedure. He ate a steak, pork chop, fries, two pints of Ben and Jerry's ice cream and a bottle of ginger ale, according to Florida Department of Corrections spokeswoman Michelle Glady.
- Thomas "Bart" Whitaker was spared from lethal injection by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
"We call on you, noting (Hamm's) long imprisonment facing the death penalty and his extremely frail condition following his cancer, to allow Mr. Hamm to serve the rest of his life in prison", reads a letter from the ICDP, according to AL.com. His father, Kent, was also shot in the same attack but survived and led the effort to save his son from execution.
It was only the fourth time since the state resumed executions in 1982 that the parole board has recommended clemency within days of an inmate's scheduled execution.
A lawyer for Doyle Lee Hamm asked the court Thursday to consider whether federal courts should be involved in developing execution procedures for infirm inmates.
The Alabama Senate voted 29-0 for the bill that permits execution by nitrogen hypoxia if lethal injection drugs are unavailable or are ruled unconstitutional.
Hamm was diagnosed with cancer in 2014, but the Alabama Attorney General's Office has argued it is now in remission and he is healthy enough to be executed.