Florida to execute man convicted in quadruple murder

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 29, 2015 7:03 AM

By Bill Cotterell

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Reuters) - Florida plans to execute on Thursday a man who was convicted of fatally stabbing his young daughter, his ex-wife and two of her relatives in a jealous rampage 30 years ago.

Jerry Correll, 59, is scheduled to die by injection at 6 p.m. in the execution chamber at Florida State Prison. If carried out, it would be the state's second execution this year.

Correll's execution was originally set for February but was delayed as the U.S. Supreme Court weighed a challenge to the drug midazolam, a sedative used during the state's lethal injection protocol.

The high court cleared the drug for use in a 5-4 ruling in June, finding midazolam did not violate the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment in a challenge brought by three Oklahoma death row inmates.

Correll's attorneys subsequently argued in state court that the drug would have a uniquely cruel impact on him, due to his history of brain damage and drug use.

A state circuit judge ruled against Correll in August and the Florida Supreme Court earlier this month lifted a stay on his execution.

Correll was sentenced to Florida's death row for the 1985 murders of his former wife, Susan Correll, 25, and their 5-year-old daughter, Tuesday, at their home in the Orlando area.

He was also found guilty of fatally stabbing Mary Lou Hines, 48, his ex-wife's mother, and Marybeth Jones, 29, her sister, before fleeing the home.

Investigators said Correll, who was married to Susan Correll from 1978 to 1983, was angry because she had begun dating again.

Correll’s execution would mark the 22nd in five years under Florida Republican Governor Rick Scott, surpassing the 21 executions conducted in eight years under former Governor Jeb Bush, who is now seeking the Republican presidential nomination.

(Editing by Letitia Stein and Bill Trott)