Supreme Court Declines to Block Execution in Florida

The Supreme Court declined to block the execution of a man on death row in Florida after he argued that his death sentence was unconstitutional.

The justices of the Supreme Court have paved the way for Florida to execute death row inmate Donald Dillbeck on Thursday. The rejection by the Supreme Court came without explanation. 

Dillbeck is scheduled to die at 6 p.m. Thursday by lethal injection for the 1990 stabbing murder of Faye Vann. Dillbeck applied to the court for a stay of the execution and petitioned for a writ of certiorari, or review of the case, raising constitutional questions. The Supreme Court denied both.

Dillbeck’s attorneys had filed a petition that centered on issues such as whether Dillbeck should be shielded from execution because of a neurological condition caused by being exposed to alcohol before birth.

In refusing to block the execution last week, the Florida Supreme Court said it had denied a motion on the disability issue in 2020 because it found Dillbeck and his attorneys “had failed to diligently pursue a diagnosis of ND-PAE.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed the death warrant for Dillbeck last month. 

Dillbeck had taken his case to the Supreme Court after Florida’s highest court last week rejected his request for a stay of execution and after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed his death warrant on Jan. 23, days before he unveiled legislation to reduce the number of jurors required for a recommendation of death from unanimity to a supermajority of at least eight jurors.

If Dillbeck is put to death by lethal injection, he will be the 100th inmate executed since the death penalty was reinstated in Florida in 1976. 

Dillbeck was convicted of killing a woman in Tallahassee after he had escaped from custody while serving a separate life sentence for killing a deputy in 1979, according to the filing from the state of Florida. 

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.