STARKE, Florida -- Death penalty opponents are calling on Governor Ron DeSantis to abandon the death warrant he signed for a serial killer.
Bobby Joe Long is set to be executed Thursday (23) at 6 p.m. at Florida State Prison, for the 1984 murder of Michelle Simms in Hillsborough County. Prosecutors presented evidence that Long first raped Simms, then cut her throat and left her to die on the side of the road.
Long also pled guilty to seven other murders and numerous rapes and kidnappings. His attorneys have filed appeals to block the execution.
Michael Sheedy with the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops insists that capital punishment is not a deterrent. He hopes the governor will reconsider.
“Once you cross a threshold, it can be tough to go back from. We believe that he does recognize the really serious nature of this. We are hopeful, again, that he will stay this execution.”
If given a lethal injection, Long would be the first Death Row inmate executed since Governor Ron DeSantis took office in January.
There are currently 338 men, and three women, on death row in Florida.
Material from the News Service of Florida was used in this report.
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