death penalty news----FLORIDA
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Rick Halperin
2017-10-06 03:24:49 UTC
Oct. 5


Florida executes man convicted of 2 killings decades ago

Florida executed an inmate Thursday who was convicted of killing two people
after a night of drinking decades ago.

Michael Lambrix, 57, died by lethal injection at 10:10 p.m. at Florida State
Prison in Bradford County.

For his final words, Lambrix said, "I wish to say the Lord's Prayer." He
recited the words, ending on the line "deliver us from evil," his voice
breaking slightly at times.

When he finished and the drug cocktail began flowing through his veins,
Lambrix's chest heaved and his lips fluttered. This continues for about five
minutes, until his lips and eyelids turned silver-blue and he lay motionless. A
doctor checked his chest with a stethoscope and shined a light in both of his
eyes before pronouncing him dead.

Corrections spokeswoman Michelle Glady said Bryant's sister was the only
victims' family member to attend and she did not wish to speak with reporters

Lambrix was the 2nd inmate put to death by the state since it restarted
executions in August.

Before then, the state had stopped all executions for months after a Supreme
Court ruling that found Florida's method of sentencing people to death was
unconstitutional. In response, the state Legislature passed a new law requiring
death sentences to have a unanimous jury vote.

Lambrix's attorney, William Hennis, argued in an appeal to the nation's high
court that because his client's jury recommendations for death were not
unanimous — the juries in his two trials voted 8-4 and 10-2 for death — they
should be thrown out. The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that Lambrix's case
is too old to qualify for relief from the new sentencing system.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday night denied Lambrix's last-ditch appeal.

Lambrix was convicted of killing Clarence Moore and Aleisha Bryant in 1983
after a long night of partying in a small central Florida town, Labelle, about
30 miles (50 kilometers) northeast of Fort Meyers. Lambrix said he was

He and his roommate, Frances Smith, had met the victims at a bar, and returned
to their trailer to eat spaghetti and continue the party, prosecutors said.

At some point after returning to the trailer, Lambrix asked Moore to go
outside. He returned about 20 minutes later and asked Bryant to come out as
well, according to Smith's testimony.

Smith testified at trial that Lambrix returned to the trailer alone after the
killings, his clothes covered in blood. The two finished the spaghetti, buried
the two bodies and then washed up, according to Smith's testimony cited in
court documents.

Prosecutors said Lambrix choked Bryant, and used a tire iron to kill Moore.
Investigators found the bodies, the tire iron and the bloody shirt.

Lambrix has claimed in previous appeals that it was Moore who killed Bryant,
and that he killed Moore only in self-defense.

"It won't be an execution," he told reporters in an interview at the prison
Tuesday, according to the Tampa Bay Times. "It's going to be an act of
cold-blooded murder."

Lambrix's first trial ended in a hung jury. The jury in the second trial found
him guilty of both murders, and a majority of jurors recommended death.

He was originally scheduled to be executed in 2016, but that was postponed
after the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in a case called Hurst v. Florida, which
found Florida's system for sentencing people to death was unconstitutional
because it gave too much power to judges, instead of juries.

Florida's Supreme Court has ruled that the new death sentencing system only
applies to cases back to 2002.

Lalmbrix becomes the 2nd condemned inmate to be put to death this year
in Florida and the 94th overall since the state resumed capital punishment
in 1979. Only Texas (543), Virginia (113), and Oklahoma (112) have executed
more inmates sinde the death penalty was re-legalized in the USA on July 2,

Lambrix becomes the 19th condemned inmate to be put to death this year in
the USA and the 1461st overall since the nation resumed executions on january
17, 1977. There are 10 more scheduled executions in the country throughout the
remainded of this year; there were 20 executions in the USA
in 2016.

(sources: Associated Press & Rick Halperin)



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