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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Gov. Scott orders execution in Glades County murder case, the second for 2016

30

November

Gov. Rick Scott has ordered the execution of a man who has been on Florida's death row for two murders in 1983.

The execution of Michael Ray Lambrix, scheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 11, 2016, is the second already planned in the new year. Oscar Ray Bolin is scheduled to be executed Jan. 7 for murders in Tampa Bay.

Lambrix was convicted in Glades County in 1984 for killing Aleisha Bryant and Clarence Moore, Jr.

According to information from the governor's office, Lambrix and his girlfriend met the victims at a bar and invited them back to the trailer where they lived for dinner. Lambrix then beat Moore to death with a tire iron and strangled Bryant. He stole a gold chain from Moore's body and buried them in a shallow grave before taking Moore's car.

Lambrix had escaped from work release in December 1982 while serving a two-year prison sentence for violoating probation.

But outside groups, including Amnesty International, have contested the narrative that led Lambrix to spend more than 30 years on death row.

They said that Frances Smith -- who Lambrix lived with and who was the key witness against him -- was not credible and had given inconsistent statements to police. Another witness who claimed Lambrix had confessed the murders later recanted her statements, according to Amnesty International alert from February of this year, when Lambrix sought and was denied clemency by Scott and the Cabinet.

Scott has signed death warrants more than any governor since capital punishment came back into use in Florida in 1976 -- 22 so far.

But the two executions planned for early 2016 in the death chamber at Florida State Prison in Starke come as the state's death penalty is being reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The court is currently considering a case that could throw out the system by which death sentences are handed down. Florida is currently the only state that allows a simple majority of jurors -- seven of 12 -- to recommend the death penalty.

Lambrix's is one such case.

The jury recommended he be executed for Bryant's murder by a 10-2 vote and for the death of Moore by an 8-4 vote.

[Last modified: Monday, November 30, 2015 4:56pm]

    

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