Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office Thursday urged the Florida Supreme Court to reject arguments aimed at blocking the scheduled execution next month of Death Row inmate Duane Owen.
Lawyers in Moody’s office filed a 56-page brief after Owen’s attorneys Wednesday requested a stay of execution to allow a determination about whether he is mentally competent to be put to death. But Moody’s office said information about Owen’s mental health has long been known and that “re-litigation of claims premised on ‘new information and testing’ is barred.”
The brief, partially quoting a legal precedent, also said, “By definition, Owen being aware of mental health issues for 25 years is not ‘newly discovered’ … Consequently, he is not entitled to pursue repackaged claims to seek further testing to ‘discover new evidence.’”
Gov. Ron DeSantis on May 9 signed a death warrant for Owen in the murder of Georgianna Worden, who was bludgeoned with a hammer and sexually assaulted in her Boca Raton home in May 1984, according to the death warrant and court records. Owen, now 62, also was sentenced to death in the March 1984 murder of 14-year-old Karen Slattery, who was babysitting at a Delray Beach home, according to state and federal court documents. Slattery was stabbed to death.
The execution has been scheduled for June 15, though DeSantis on Monday ordered a psychiatric evaluation of Owen and put a temporary hold on the execution. A Palm Beach County circuit judge last week rejected arguments raised by Owen’s attorneys.
Along with seeking a stay Wednesday, Owen’s attorneys requested the Supreme Court send the case back to a lower court for a competency determination and an evidentiary hearing.
–News Service of Florida
Mark huston says
It’s not killing it’s justified excucution for an animal that’s had two hots and a cot for decades after murdering and raping a little girl ! Hang him, now