Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

John Henry scheduled for execution at 6 p.m. Wednesday

A federal appeals court has rejected a bid to delay the execution of John Ruthell Henry, who is scheduled to be executed at 6 tonight at the Florida State Prison in Raiford.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta issued an opinion late Tuesday, said capital cases clerk Jan Camp. Only the U.S. Supreme Court could now delay Henry's execution, Camp added.

Henry was sentenced to death for murdering his wife in Zephyrhills in 1985.

Defense attorney Baya Harrison, who filed the appeal over the weekend, has argued that Henry, 63, is mentally disabled and should not be put to death under the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Henry has been on death row for 27 years. He stabbed 28-year-old Patricia Roddy 20 times in 1976. He served just over seven years before being paroled in January 1983.

In December 1985, he stabbed his wife, Suzanne Henry, to death with a 5-inch paring knife after an argument. Hours later, he drove to Hillsborough County where he stabbed her 5-year-old son, Eugene Christian, with the same knife while the boy sat in his lap in a car.

Henry's scheduled execution comes in the wake of a botched procedure in April in Oklahoma. Clayton Lockett was administered drugs but soon started writhing in his restraints. Officials halted the execution, but Lockett later died of a heart attack. Oklahoma uses a three-drug cocktail in its executions, and according to published reports one of Lockett's veins exploded.

Florida also uses a three-drug combination. First, 500mg of a midazolam solution — to render the inmate unconscious — is injected, followed by a "flush" of saline. The executioner will check if Henry has lost consciousness, according to protocols written by the Florida Department of Corrections.

Once the execution team is satisfied Henry is indeed unconscious, two more drugs, vecuronium bromide and potassium chloride, will be administered. An on-hand physician will confirm the death.

Florida has executed 81 inmates since the death penalty was reinstated in 1979, according to DOC records.

Last year, seven were put to death, the most since 1984, when eight people were executed.

John Henry scheduled for execution at 6 p.m. Wednesday 06/17/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 11:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Confederacy loses again, this time in court


    TAMPA — While the Hillsborough County commission was wrestling over the future of Confederate monument at the county courthouse, a lawsuit has been playing out in court over how best to represent the Civil War across town at Veterans Memorial Park.

    Supporters of a Civil War display at Veterans Memorial Park and Museum had a brochure made to attract donations. They argue in a lawsuit that their efforts were thwarted when the park's executive committee changed their plans.
  2. Iconic Ballet Nacional de Cuba ballet will perform at Straz in May


    Besides fine tobacco, Ballet Nacional de Cuba is considered by many to be the island nation's most distinctive export.

    Ballet Nacional de Cuba, one of the world's premiere ballet companies, will perform at the Straz Center in May.

 [Courtesy of Carlos Quezada]
  3. I-275 south closed in St. Pete heading towards Sunshine Skyway


    ST. PETERSBURG — All southbound lanes of Interstate 275 on the southern tip of Pinellas County were closed Wednesday afternoon due to a traffic crash with injuries, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  4. Bucs-Jaguars: Five things to watch Thursday in Jacksonville


    JACKSONVILLE — The Bucs have their second preseason game here Friday against the Jaguars, and here are five things to keep an eye on as Tampa Bay moves closer to paring its roster from 90 players to 53 by Sept. 3.


    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) participates in training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  5. Former Rep. Corrine Brown denied new trial; to be sentenced in November


    JACKSONVILLE (AP)—A federal judge has denied a request for a new trial by former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, who was found guilty of taking money from a sham charity that was purported to be aiding poor students.

    Corrine Brown