Florida executes man convicted of double murder

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By: Associated Press
October 5, 2017

STARKE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida has executed an inmate convicted of killing two people after a night of drinking decades ago.

The governor's office says Michael Lambrix died by lethal injection at 10:10 p.m. Thursday at Florida State Prison.

He was convicted of killing Clarence Moore and Aleisha Bryant in 1983. Prosecutors said he killed the pair outside his trailer near LaBelle, northeast of Fort Myers. Lambrix said he was innocent.

The 57-year-old Lambrix had filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that his execution should be halted after Florida's death penalty sentencing method was found to be unconstitutional. The state has since required a unanimous jury vote in death cases.

The jury wasn't unanimous in either of Lambrix's death sentence decisions, but Florida's Supreme Court has said the new rules don't apply to cases as old as his.


By: Associated Press
October 5, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a request to stop the execution of a Florida inmate convicted of killing two people.

The court issued orders denying the stay Thursday night. Michael Lambrix had argued that the Thursday execution should be halted after Florida's death penalty sentencing method was found to be unconstitutional. The state has since required a unanimous jury vote in death cases.

The 57-year-old Lambrix was convicted of killing Clarence Moore and Aleisha Bryant in 1983. Prosecutors said he killed the pair outside his trailer near LaBelle, northeast of Fort Myers.


By: Mike Vasilinda | Capitol News Service
October 4, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) -- Dozens of prayer vigils for death row inmate Michael Lambrix are taking place on Wednesday and throughout the day on Thursday before his scheduled 6 p.m. execution.

Lambrix has maintained his innocence for 34 years.

A Plant City high school dropout, he had run ins with the law at an early age.

"Just stupid stuff," he said. "Writing bad checks and stealing a couple cars."

Lambrix was arrested after his girlfriend was stopped in Tampa, driving the victims car.

"A witness that the jury in my first trial found so uncredible, they couldn't reach a verdict," he said.

Florida's Catholic Bishops have sent a letter to Governor Rick Scott, asking him to stop the pending execution. The letter cites both constitutional and moral grounds.

"Had Mr. Lambrix been sentenced after 2002, his case would be eligible for re-sentencing," said Ingrid DelGado of the Florida Catholic Conference, "But also he has indicated he was offered plea deal, which, if he had accepted it, he would have already returend to society."

During an hour-long interview with reporters, Lambrix repeatedly professed his innocence.

"I'll be the honorably discharged disabled veteran Governor Scott has ever killed," he said.

But, the death row inmate says he will not repeat his claims of innocence if it comes to making a final statement at his execution.

"The last thing I want to do is cause any more pain or suffering to the Bryant family," he said.

Instead, Lambrix says he will say the Lord's Prayer.

Lambrix’s family, including his mother, step father, sisters and children are all at the prison. All are being counseled about grief in what could be the final hours of Michael Lambrix’s life.

A spokesman for Governor Scott said, “Signing death warrants is one of the Governor’s most solemn duties. The Governor’s top concern is always with the families of the victims of these horrible crimes.”


By: Mike Vasilinda | Capitol News Service
October 3rd, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) -- Lawyers for a man convicted of two murders more than 30 years ago are expected to ask the US Supreme Court to stop his scheduled execution, arguing the jury was not unanimous in recommending death.

Michael Lambrix has maintained his innocence for 34 years. Set to die Thursday, he told his story again to a dozen reporters, the first group interview at the prison in more than a decade.

“It won’t be an execution,” Lambrix said, “it’s going to be an act of cold blooded murder. And the State of Florida is going to be deliberately putting to death an innocent person.”

Lambrix claims he killed the male victim in self-defense after he found the man strangling a 19-year-old woman. He met both earlier that fateful February 1983 night in a bar. He didn't go to police because he had walked away from a prison work camp.

“And I really should have told them exactly what happened right up front,” claimed Lambrix.

No physical evidence ties Lambrix to the murders, and the first jury was hung. During the second trial, the state’s top investigator allegedly slept with a key witness.

Lambrix continued, “It’s like banging your head on a brick wall. It really is. The thing is, nobody wants to listen.”

What makes the case unusual is that neither vote for death was unanimous, but Lambrix’s problem is that his crime was so long ago.

“Myself, and everybody sentenced to death since 1974 with anything less than a unanimous jury verdict, were illegally and unconstitutionally sentenced to death,” said Lambrix.

Over the last 34 years, Lambrix has not only maintained his innocence, but even turned down a plea deal. His family has stood by him for every minute of it.

A visitors list shows more than thirty people authorized for Lambrix’s final days. It includes his mother and two of his four children. He's asked them not to bring his seven grandchildren.

For a final meal, Lambrix has asked for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, the same meal his mother promised him if he was ever set free.



 
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