Vigil For Executed Killer; Two Death-Row Inmates Win Stays of Execution
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ Death penalty opponents mourned the execution of quadruple murderer Jeffrey Daugherty, comparing his death to an outburst of Nazi violence against Jews 50 years ago today that launched the Holocaust.
Three dozen clergy members and others gathered in the state Capitol rotunda to sing and pray Tuesday, the same day the Florida Supreme Court issued stays of execution for two convicts scheduled to die Thursday.
The court granted an indefinite stay for John Marek, who was sentenced to die for the June 1983 rape and strangulation of Adella M. Simmons in Broward County.
The justices also granted a temporary stay, effective through noon Monday, for Leo Alexander Jones, who was sentenced to die for the sniper shooting of a Jacksonville police officer in 1981. Jones’ death warrant is effective through next Wednesday, and he could be executed if the stay is not extended.
Daugherty, 33, was put to death Monday in the electric chair at Florida State Prison near Starke.
During Tuesday’s vigil, Shimon Gottschalk, a professor of social work at Florida State University, recalled Kristallnacht, or Crystal Night, on Nov. 9, 1938, when Nazis ran rampant in Germany and Austria, burning synagogues and shops, killing scores of Jews and arresting thousands for deportation to concentration camps.
″Here we are 50 years later and we still live with governments that think ... in the name of the state, people can be hurt,″ Gottschalk said.
The death-penalty opponents emphasized that they were praying for Daugherty’s four victims as well as for the inmate and other men Florida has executed in the last decade.
″Our intention is not to diminish the gravity of his crimes,″ said Elizabeth Dawson of the Florida Clearinghouse on Criminal Justice. ″Jeffrey took the lives of four innocent human beings during an inexcusable crime spree and was deserving punishment. Yet Jeffrey did not deserve to die, even at the hands of the state.″
Daugherty was electrocuted Monday afternoon for the 1976 murder of Lavonne Patricia Sailer, a 48-year-old hitchhiker from Minnesota whom Daugherty picked up in Brevard County.
She was one of four people Daugherty killed during a three-week crime spree.