Florida executes man convicted of double murder

WASHINGTON: A man convicted of a double murder that he insisted he did not commit was executed Thursday night in Florida, the state Department of Corrections said.

Michael Lambrix, 57, was put to death shortly after 10pm (0200 GMT Friday) after the US Supreme Court rejected a last-ditch appeal.

Lambrix was convicted of the 1984 murders of a man and a woman – Clarence Moore and Aleisha Bryant. For more than three decades, he always maintained his innocence.

"It won't be an execution. It's going to be an act of cold-blooded murder," Lambrix said Tuesday when he was allowed to meet with reporters at the prison where he was being held.

"The state of Florida is going to be deliberately putting to death an innocent person," he added.

Lambrix was found guilty of killing Moore and Bryant after a night of partying. He insisted he killed the man in self-defense after Moore killed the woman.

Lambrix rejected a plea bargain deal that would have spared him the death penalty and seen him released from prison a decade ago.

He was sentenced to death by a jury in a non-unanimous verdict. Florida stands out among US states in allowing this.

Also in Florida, the judge in the case is not required to abide by what the jury decides.

This system was ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court in 2016 but Florida later decided that capital punishment verdicts issued prior to 2002 remained valid. — AFP