Tracking One of the Nation’s Leaders in Capital Punishment
Florida is a national leader in capital punishment and has been for decades. It houses the largest death row population in the country for states that continue executions. For four of the past five years, Florida has imposed the highest number of death sentences in the country.
Florida is also among a very small group of states that continue to conduct executions. In February 2023, Florida completed its 100th execution since the death penalty was reinstituted following Furman v. Georgia in 1976.
Despite national opinion moving toward abolition, Florida continues in the opposite direction. In the 2023 legislative session, the Florida Legislature proposed several bills to expand capital punishment in the state.
This Substack tracks capital punishment in the state, including proposed legislation, trials, caselaw updates, and executions.
For breaking news updates, follow along on Twitter, too.
Death Warrants in 2023
Donald Dillbeck - Executed February 23, 2023 (Warrant January 23, 2023)
Louis Gaskin - Executed April 12, 2023 (Warrant March 13, 2023)
Darryl Barwick - Executed May 3, 2023 (Warrant April 3, 2023)
Duane Owen - Executed June 15, 2023 (Warrant May 9, 2023)
James Barnes - Executed August 3, 2023 (Warrant June 22, 2023)
Michael D. Zack, III - Executed October 3, 2023 (Warrant August 17, 2023)
Deaths on Death Row
Thomas Pope (died Oct. 31, 2023)
Paul Beasley Johnson (died Sept. 30, 2023)
Alphonso Cave (died Aug. 3, 2023)
About the Author
After law school, I clerked at the Supreme Court of Florida, which is where I was first exposed to capital punishment in Florida. I am barred in Florida and Washington, D.C. I serve on the Steering Committee and as a volunteer for the ABA Death Penalty Representation Project.
The Reason Behind the Blog
When working at the Supreme Court of Florida from 2016-2019 during Hurst v. Florida, I realized how little society knows about the reality of capital punishment. Since leaving the Court, I have written extensively on capital sentencing and the related constitutional issues. (My law review articles and op-eds can be found on the Resources page.)
My purpose for writing comes from a passion for these issues and the belief that everyone—regardless of their political views—should understand and be educated on the reality of capital punishment if they live in a state or country that retains the death penalty. The purpose for this blog is education, not politics or advocacy.
This blog reflects my personal views—not my law firm’s, its clients’, or any former employer’s. The transmission of information or communication with me through this site or its Twitter account does not establish or constitute an attorney-client relationship. Nothing posted on TFDP constitutes legal advice.
For further reading on topics related to Florida’s capital punishment and how to get involved, check out the Resources tab.