Florida executes man for 1991 double-murder

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 08, 2017 3:38 PM

By David Beasley

(Reuters) - Florida put to death a 53-year-old man on Wednesday for the 1991 murder of two men, an official said, while in a separate case in Texas attorneys for a Mexican national sought to prevent his execution.

At Florida State Prison in Starke, Patrick Hannon was put to death by lethal injection at 8:50 p.m. local time, said Florida Department of Corrections spokeswoman Ashley Cook.

Hannon was convicted in the January 1991 murders of Brandon Snider and Robert Carter, who were killed in the Tampa apartment they shares.

Hannon lost several appeals with the Florida Supreme Court and in U.S. District Court. The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to halt the execution.

Hannon was the 22nd person executed in the United States so far this year, compared with 20 in the full year 2016 and 28 in 2015, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

In Texas, officials were planning to put to death a Mexican national on Wednesday for the February 1997 kidnap, rape and murder of his 16-year-old cousin, Mayra Laguna. The convict, Ruben Cardenas, 47, told investigators he was high on cocaine at the time.

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Mexican officials and two United Nations experts have called for Cardenas to be spared the death penalty and his attorneys have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block the execution.

Texas has executed six people this year, and Florida three.

(Reporting by David Beasley in Atlanta; Additional reporting by Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale and Dave Graham in Mexico City; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Leslie Adler)