Photo: Florida Department of Corrections / EFE
MIAMI – Duane Owen, a 62-year-old man convicted of the 1984 Florida murders of two women and whose execution was scheduled for June 15, He will undergo a psychiatric examination on Tuesday. to determine if you understand the scope of capital punishment.
The Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, issued an executive order directing three psychiatrists to examine Owen’s mental state and which also establishes the temporary suspension of the execution of the convicted murderer until his psychiatric condition is determined.
DeSantis, who is expected to announce this week that he will compete for the Republican nomination in the 2024 general electionnotes in the order that if Owen is found to have the mental capacity to understand the death penalty and why it is being imposed, the execution will proceed as scheduled.
The governor’s order indicates that if, on the contrary, he decides after receiving the report that does not have the mental capacity for it, Owen will be admitted to a treatment center mental health “until such time as he regains his sanity and the death sentence can be carried out.”
Owen’s lawyers had pointed out to justify the examination that a previous study indicated that the convicted man met “the criteria of insanity.”
DeSantis signed the order to execute Owen on May 9. whose attorneys had unsuccessfully tried to get a stay of execution granted by a Palm Beach County circuit judge.
Channel 5 WPTV-News points out that, according to a neuropsychologist’s report provided by the lawyers, Owen thinks he’s a woman in a man’s body..
Owen was found guilty of murdering Karen Slatterya 14-year-old high school freshman, and Georgianna Worden, mother of twoin two separate events that occurred in Palm Beach County in 1984.
The later convicted man broke into a Delray Beach home in March 1984 and repeatedly stabbed and sexually assaulted Slattery, who was there taking care of some children.
Two months later, he broke into a Boca Raton home, where he bludgeoned Worden to death with a hammer and sexually assaulted her. The body of the 38-year-old mother was found by her two children the next morning.
Owen was arrested that same year and confessed to the crimes.. He was later found guilty of first degree murder and sexual assault with a deadly weapon for both counts and sentenced to death.
According to the order, the examination will take place this Tuesday, after which the commission must immediately report its findings to the governor no later than tomorrow, Wednesday.
If Owen is finally executed, it will mark the fourth execution of the year in this state. and the sixth signed by the current governor of Florida, which reflects a lower average than that of his predecessors, and number 103 since capital punishment was restored in this state in 1976.
There are currently almost 300 inmates on the state’s “death row.”as the place where those who are going to be executed remain is known, according to data from the Florida Department of Corrections (Prisons).
DeSantis signed a measure last month approved in the state Congress Reduces the requirements for sentencing a person to the death penalty and removes the requirement of unanimity by jurors for this verdict.
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