Elmer Carroll To Be Killed at 6 p.m. as Stay Is Denied; Exonerated Men Will Deliver Petition to Scott
FlaglerLive | May 29, 2013
The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday denied the last appeal by Elmer Leon Carroll to stay his execution, which is scheduled at Starke state prison in Florida at 6 p.m. this evening (May 29).
On Thursday, Herman Lindsey and Seth Penalver – the 23rd and 24th men exonerated from Florida’s Death Row – will deliver a letter to Gov. Rick Scott, signed by over 40 U.S. citizens exonerated from state death rows across the country. The letter calls on Scott to veto the Timely Justice Act, which will “lead to the execution of innocent men and women… By placing death row prisoners on a fast track to execution, without further investigation, we will never know how many credible innocence claims exist among them,” according to the signatories.
Lindsey and Penalver will also deliver a petition started by Juan Melendez, who spent almost 18 years on Florida’s Death Row before being exonerated. Melendez’s petition is signed by 6,000 people asking Gov. Scott to veto the Timely Justice Act. “This bill would increase your risk of executing an innocent person” writes Melendez. “I cannot stand by and allow this legislation to pass and you are the only person who can stop it.”
Gov. Rick Scott Signs 6th Death Warrant: Elmer Carroll Murdered 10-Year-Old Girl in 1990
April 18–Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday signed his sixth death warrant since becoming governor in January 2011, and the second this year. Larry Eugene Mann was executed just eight days ago, on April 10.
Scott’s latest death warrant is for Elmer Carroll, 56, who was convicted of raping and murdering 10-year-old Christine McGowen on Oct. 30, 1990, in McGowen own bed at her Apopka home.
Carroll, inmate No. 835908 at the Florida Department of Correction, was a twice-convicted child molester when he was living at a halfway house next door to McGowen’s house. At trial, a resident of the halfway house testified that Carroll had told him that McGowen was “cute, sweet and liked to watch him make boats.” The girl was seen talking to Carroll the day before the murder.
Robert Rank, McGowen’s stepfather, discovered her bloodied and dead in her bed at 6 a.m. that October day, when he went to wake her up. She had been strangled. The front door of the house was slightly ajar, and Rank’s pickup truck, bearing an ATC construction logo, was missing. A witness later identified Carroll walking away from the pickup truck east of Orlando on Highway 50, at 6:50, as the witness was leaving for work. “She did not think too much about it until she later heard over the radio that the police were looking for a white pickup truck bearing the ATC logo,” according to court papers. “After checking to see that the truck she had seen had the ATC logo described in the radio bulletin, she called the police.”
He was arrested that morning. A DNA profile from semen, saliva and pubic hair recovered from the victim matched Carroll’s DNA. Blood was also found on Carroll’s sweatshirt and on his penis.
Carroll at trial raised the insanity defense. But the State and the defense presented conflicting psychiatric testimony on the matter of competence. The jury found Carroll guilty of rape and murder, and returned a recommendation of death by a vote of 12-0. A judge sentenced him to death on April 16, 1992, 21 years and two days ago.
Carroll will be executed on Tuesday, May 6, at 6 p.m., at the state prison at Starke, 75 miles northwest of Palm Coast. Absent a stay of execution, he will be the second individual executed this year, and the 76th executed in Florida since the re-institution of the death penalty in 1976. Since then, 24 people on Florida’s death row have been exonerated. Carroll is one of 405 people on death row currently, all but five of them men.
Carroll will die by lethal injection.
Citizens looking to express their opinion about the death penalty may contact the governor directly. Rick Scott’s phone number is 850/488-7146. His email address is Rick.Scott@eog.myflorida.com.