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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Michael D. Crews

Florida Department of Corrections
Michael D. Crews, Secretary

Prisons

Death Row

On June 30, 2010, there were 394 inmates on Florida's death row. Two death row inmates were executed in FY0910.

Death Row Facts and Figures

  • On June 30, 2010, there were 394 inmates on Florida's death row.
  • Florida administers execution by electric chair or lethal injection. Lethal injection became an option for death row inmates in FY 1999-00.
  • While tobacco was banned inside Florida prisons on January 1, 2000, death row inmates were exempted from this rule since they have no access to designated smoking areas.
  • The executioner is an anonymous, private citizen who is paid $150 cash per execution.
  • A death row cell is 6 x 9 x 9.5 feet high.
  • Two inmates were executed in FY 2009-2010.
  • Most (61.9%) Inmates on Death Row are white
  • Death row inmates can be distinguished from other inmates by their orange t-shirts.
  • The state of Florida was given the authority to execute inmates by the 1923 Legislature.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court declared capital punishment unconstitutional in 1972 in Furman vs. Georgia. In 1976 the Furman decision was overturned, upholding the constitutionality of the death penalty, which was resumed in Florida in 1979 with the execution of John Spenkelink.
  • Male inmates under sentence of death are housed at Union CI or Florida State Prison. Female death row inmates reside at Lowell CI.
  • The two inmates executed in FY0910 were John Marek on August 19, 2009 and Martin Grossman on February 16, 2010.
    John Marek (left) and Martin Grosman (right)

Death Row Averages

  • Average number of years served before execution: 12.7
  • Average number of years between offense and execution: 14.3
  • Average age at execution: 43.0
  • Average age at offense for those executed: 28.7

Death Row Population on June 30 Compared Over Five Years

Death Row Population:  2006 - 377; 2007 - 380; 2008 - 391; 2009 - 391; 2010 - 394.


Inmate John Evander Couey Dies of Natural Causes:
Was on Death Row for Murder of Jessica Lunsford

John Evander CoueyJacksonville – Death row Inmate John Evander Couey, Department of Corrections #063425, died of natural causes Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at Jacksonville Memorial Hospital. Couey, who was 51, died at 11:15 a.m. On August 24, 2007, Couey was sentenced to die for the 2005 murder of nine-year-old Jessica Lunsford. She was taken from her bedroom in Citrus County sometime during the night of February 23, 2005, sexually assaulted and buried alive a few days later. She died of asphyxiation, according to the medical examiner's report.

Public outrage over Lunsford's murder led to the passing on June 9, 2005 of the Jessica Lunsford Act, which enhances penalties for sexual crimes against children, including making sexual predators who murder their victims eligible for the death penalty. It also increases the penalty for lewd and lascivious molestation of a child to life in prison or a split sentence of a mandatory minimum 25-year prison term, followed by lifetime supervision with electronic monitoring. In addition to murder, Couey, was also charged with burglary, kidnapping and sexual battery on a child less than 12 years of age.