FLORIDA: MAN CONVICTED OF 8 MURDERS EXECUTED
August 5, 2013: A mentally ill man convicted of killing eight people in the late 1970s in the Miami area was executed at Florida State Prison in Raiford in the evening.
John Errol Ferguson, 65, was pronounced dead at 6:17 p.m, 16 minutes after the execution by lethal injection began.
His final statement was: âI just want everyone to know that I am the prince of God, and I will rise again.â Then he added, âThat's all.â
Ferguson has been repeating that conviction for many years. He began suffering hallucinations in 1965 and was placed in a state mental hospital in 1971, where four years later, court-appointed psychiatrists said that he was âdangerous to himself and others.â
Nonetheless, Ferguson was released from the hospital a year later, âfor reasons that are still unclear,â said Ferguson's lawyer, Christopher Handman, of the Hogan Lovells law firm in Washington, D.C.
A year later, in 1977, Ferguson committed the first of two crimes that put him on death row. Dressed as a utility worker, Ferguson and two accomplices raided a house in Carol City known to be a haven for marijuana dealers. When the mask of one of the accomplices fell off, they decided to kill all eight people in the house. Two of the victims survived.
Six months later, Ferguson, dressed as a police officer, killed two teenagers in Hialeah. He admitted to killing the teenagers and was convicted of all eight murders in 1978. He was on death row for 35 years.
Gov. Rick Scott had signed a death warrant for Ferguson last year, with a scheduled execution in late October, but a federal appeals court granted Ferguson a stay, which the Supreme Court supported. (Sources: gainesville.com, 05/08/2013)