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Oscar Ray Bolin Jr., To Be Killed Tonight, Is 23rd Execution on Gov. Scott’s Watch

| January 7, 2016

Oscar Bolin Jr.

Oscar Bolin Jr.

Convicted murderer Oscar Ray Bolin Jr., is scheduled to die by lethal injection this evening (Jan. 7) at Florida State Prison near Starke.  A federal appeals court on Monday rejected a stay of execution, clearing the way for what will be the 23rd execution on Gov. Rick Scott’s watch, by far the most of any Florida governor since the state reinstated the death penalty in 1976. Former Gov. Jeb Bush, who in November said he feels “conflicted” about the death penalty, signed the death warrants of 21 inmates in eight years.  Another Florida inmate, Michael Ray Lambrix, is scheduled to be executed on Feb. 11.

Bolin, 53, argued in his appeal that another man confessed to the murder.

Bolin was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Teri Lynn Matthews, whose body was discovered on Dec. 5, 1986, near the side of a road in rural Pasco County. The body, according to court records, was found wrapped in a sheet imprinted with a St. Joseph’s Hospital logo. It had multiple head injuries, was shoeless, and was wet, although it had not rained recently. A single set of truck tires led to the body. The Matthews’s car, a red Honda, was found the next day by her boyfriend, Gary McClelland, at the Land O’ Lakes Post Office, with its headlights still on. The victim’s mail was found scattered on the ground, and her purse was found undisturbed on the seat inside her car, indicating that she had been abducted. McClelland had been worried about her disappearance and was tracing back her steps after she’d left work.

Bolin’s half-brother, Phillip, testified at trial that he was awakened by Bolin on the night of December 4, 1986. Bolin appeared to be nervous and told Phillip that he needed Phillip’s help. “The two walked outside,” according to an account transcribed in court papers, “and then Phillip heard a moaning sound, which he thought could have been a wounded dog. Instead, he saw a sheet-wrapped body, and Bolin told him that the girl was shot near the Land O’ Lakes Post Office. Bolin then walked over and straddled the body with his feet, raised a wooden stick with a metal end, and hit the body several times.

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“Phillip said that he turned away because he was scared to watch, but compared the sound to hitting a pillow with a stick. Bolin next turned on a water hose and sprayed the body. Bolin demanded that Phillip help him load the body onto the back of a black Ford tow truck, and Phillip helped by picking up the body by the ankles. Phillip testified that he noticed there were no shoes on the body and that the girl was wearing pantyhose. Phillip refused Bolin’s offer of money to go with him to dispose of the body, so Bolin went alone and returned twenty to thirty minutes later. He continued talking to Phillip about the girl, stating that she had been shot in a drug deal.”

Bolin, however, was suspected to have raped the victim, based on a DNA sample of semen found on the victims’ pants.

Bolin’s execution takes place as the number of executions across the United States (28) fell to its lowest level since 1991, with the number of states abolishing the practice continuing to grow, while others pull back from executions. Arkansas and Pennsylvania have each stayed two executions this month. Ohio stayed one, and gave a reprieve to 11 inmates scheduled to die in 2016 following Gov. John Kasich’s decision in October to delay executions because of a shortage of execution drugs. In late December, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court unanimously upheld the governor’s authority to impose a moratorium on executions.

Florida has 400 inmates on death row. It has freed 24 inmates from death row, more than any other state, granting clemency to six of them.

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7 Responses for “Oscar Ray Bolin Jr., To Be Killed Tonight, Is 23rd Execution on Gov. Scott’s Watch”

  1. Bc says:

    A eye for a eye. It should not have taken so long. God rest his soul.

  2. Ken Dodge says:

    Isn’t the “killing” of a convicted murderer by the State called “execution of sentence of death?

  3. Outsider says:

    It’s the only certain way to ensure these animals never kill again, inside or outside of prison.

  4. Brian says:

    The travesty of this situation is that we have been feeding and housing this trash for 30 years. I wonder how much that has cost the taxpayers. I say order a bulk supply of needles and insecticide, line up the other 400 and be done with it.

  5. Scott says:

    These executions should be televised like those ‘Howto Murder” shows that are so popular these days. Instead of showing people how to do it maybe we should show them what happens to you when you do it.

  6. Diana L. says:

    Florida’s death penalty program is the most mistake-ridden in the nation. Since executions resumed in the 1970’s, Florida has executed 92 people while at the same time 26 people were exonerated and released from Death Row. That’s a rate of more than one exoneration for every four executions.

  7. Outsider says:

    I agree the death penalty should only be administered when there is irrefutable evidence the person committee the crime. In the past many cases were based upon eyewitness testimony which can be unreliable. This case seems air tight; the guy’s own brother witnessed the murder, and his DNA was found in the victim. I will lose no sleep over this guy.

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