Florida Supreme Court refuses to halt planned execution
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Supreme Court is again rejecting a request to postpone the scheduled execution of a man convicted of raping and beating a woman to death.
The court refused Thursday to halt Eric Scott Branch’s planned Feb. 22 execution. That comes nine days after rejecting another appeal from Branch.
Branch’s lawyers claimed that human brains are still developing into the mid-20s and Branch’s brain development was further slowed by sexual and physical trauma and drug abuse as a child.
Branch attacked Susan Morris in January 1993 as she walked to her car at the University of West Florida in Pensacola. Branch dragged Morris into a nearby wooded area, where he beat, strangled and sexually battered her. He left Morris’ body in a shallow grave and stole her car to flee the state.