Make us your home page
Instagram

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

Loading...
  1. Mother's testimony about toddler's death brings judge to tears

    Criminal

    TAMPA — Nayashia Williams woke up early on May 7, 2014, to the sound of her daughter calling for her. It was the last time the young mother's mornings would begin with a summons from Myla Presley, who couldn't yet climb over the mesh fencing around the playpen she used as a bed.

    Deandre Gilmore looks towards the gallery Tuesday in a Tampa courtroom. Gilmore is accused of killing the 19 month-old daughter of his girlfriend in 2014. He said the child fell while he was giving her a bath. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  2. Speakers: Getting tough can't be only response to teen car thefts

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — Bob Dillinger remembers coming to Pinellas County as a legal intern in 1975. There were five major poverty zones in St. Petersburg.

    Wengay Newton, Florida House of Representatives (in front, in center), talks as a panelist to a packed room during a community forum on "Reclaiming our Youth: Is Juvenile Justice a Reality?" at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson Museum in St. Petersburg Wednesday evening (10/17/17). The event was presented by the Fred G. Minnis, Sr. Bar Association. Community leaders discussed the ongoing auto theft epidemic among Pinellas youth.
  3. Internal White House documents allege manufacturing decline increases abortions, infertility and spousal abuse

    Politics

    White House officials working on trade policy were alarmed last month when a top adviser to President Donald Trump circulated a two-page document that alleged a weakened manufacturing sector leads to an increase in abortion, spousal abuse, divorce and infertility, two people familiar with the matter told the …

  4. Black entrepreneur says city stiffing him on project after he endorsed Rick Baker

    News

    ST. PETERSBURG — A prominent African-American resident says his endorsement of mayoral candidate Rick Baker has led city officials to freeze him out of a major construction project along the historic "Deuces" stretch of 22nd Street S.