Leo Jones, who had challenged the constitutionality of Florida's use of a 75-year-old electric chair, died there Tuesday for the sniper murder of a police officer.
Jones' attorneys objected after the fiery death of another inmate in March 1997. The problem had led to a nearly yearlong halt in executions in Florida. Jones' execution was the second of four scheduled over nine days.There was no visible flame Tuesday; Jones was pronounced dead at 7:11 a.m. He was condemned for the 1981 slaying of Thomas Szafranski, who was shot in the head while sitting in his patrol car in downtown Jacksonville.
"In the hearts of all us, it's long overdue," Thomas Pialorsi, who was president of the Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police when Szafranski was shot, said Monday.
Jones, 47, confessed to the shooting, but he later said the confession was coerced by police who beat him.
In his appeals, he noted the statements of a dozen people who said another man had confessed to the killing. Jones' appeal for a stay to the Florida Supreme Court and a separate appeal to a federal judge were rejected Monday.
Serial killer Gerald Stano died Monday for the murder of a 17-year-old girl from Port Orange in 1973. He had confessed to 41 killings.
Judy Buenoano, 54, the "Black Widow," is scheduled to be executed next Monday for the murder of her husband. Twenty-four hours later, the state plans to execute Daniel Remeta, 40, for the 1985 fatal shooting of Mehrle Reeder, a convenience store clerk in Ocala.