(ReclaimingAmerica.net) – Donald Dillbeck was executed by the state of Florida on Thursday night.
In his final moments before death, he made a statement expressing his regret for his past actions while also attacking Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
“I know I hurt people when I was young. I really messed up. But I know Ron DeSantis has done a lot worse. He’s taken a lot from a lot of people. I speak for all men, women, and children. He’s put his foot on our necks.”
The execution was carried out at 6:02 PM and was completed 11 minutes later.
Family members of Faye Lamb Vann, who Dillbeck murdered in 1990, were present in the witness gallery. They declined to speak to the media but released a statement through the prison system spokeswoman.
“11,932 days ago, Donald Dillbeck brutally killed our mother. We were robbed of years of memories with her, and it has been very painful ever since. However, the execution has given us some closure.”
Dillbeck’s execution was the first in Florida in over three years and the 100th since the Supreme Court allowed the practice to resume in 1975.
His attorneys made a last-minute appeal to the Supreme Court, arguing that the neurological impact of his mother’s heavy drinking during pregnancy and subsequent abuse should spare his life. The request was rejected, and DeSantis signed the death warrant a month before the execution.
Critics of the death penalty believe that politics, including DeSantis’ potential run for president, played a role in the resumption of executions. On the same day DeSantis signed Dillbeck’s warrant, he proposed lowering the jury threshold to recommend a death sentence from unanimity to 8-4. This proposal was soon followed by a pair of bills filed by Republican lawmakers. The jury in Dillbeck’s case was split 8-4 in favor of a death sentence.
Death penalty experts believe the proposed legislation is similar to a previous version of Florida’s capital sentencing scheme that was struck down in 2016. Critics of the law are concerned that the courts would strike it down again and that Florida would move backward while other states are moving away from the death penalty.
Following the execution, the executive director of Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty issued a statement emphasizing Dillbeck’s history of childhood trauma and abuse in the adult prison system. “The death penalty does not keep our communities safer. Protecting vulnerable children and making sure the abused, traumatized, and mentally ill have access to mental health care—that’s how we keep our community safer. That’s how we end the cycle of violence. We are better than this.”
For more details about the case and execution, click HERE.
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