Florida and Alabama to execute men convicted of double murders

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 05, 2017 6:02 AM

By Bernie Woodall and David Beasley

(Reuters) - Florida and Alabama on Thursday are scheduled to execute two men who are each convicted of carrying out double murders, though both inmates are asking courts to halt their lethal injections over legal and drug issues.

Michael Lambrix, 57, is scheduled to be put to death at the Florida State Prison in Starke at 6 p.m. ET (2200 GMT). He was convicted of killing a man and a woman in 1983 in Glades County in southwest Florida after inviting them over to eat spaghetti during a night of drinking, court records show.

Lambrix choked and stomped on Aleisha Bryant and hit Clarence Moore Jr. over the head with a tire tool, according to the records.

But Lambrix says the court system that condemned him is overlooking evidence he claims would show that he killed Moore in self-defense. Lambrix also says that Moore was the one who killed Bryant.

"It won't be an execution," Lambrix told reporters on Tuesday at the prison in Starke. "It's going to be an act of cold-blooded murder."

Lambrix is seeking a stay from the U.S. Supreme Court on the grounds that his death sentence should be considered unconstitutional because justices ruled in 2016 that Florida was allowing judges power that should be given to juries.

Florida's death penalty laws have since been changed so that only a unanimous vote by a jury can condemn someone to death. A jury vote recommending the death penalty after Lambrix's conviction was not unanimous.

In Alabama, Jeffery Lynn Borden, 56, is due to be put to death at 6 p.m. CT (2300 GMT) at the William C. Holman Correctional Facility near Atmore after the Supreme Court on Tuesday lifted a lower court's injunction.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week had granted the injunction to allow Borden to challenge the use of the sedative midazolam. Borden's attorneys argued that midazolam does not render an inmate sufficiently unconscious and should not be used in executions.

Borden was convicted of shooting to death his estranged wife, Cheryl Borden, and his father-in-law, Roland Harris, on Christmas Eve 1993 in Gardendale in front of the former couple's children.

(Reporting by Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and David Beasley in Atlanta; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Leslie Adler)