Florida’s Republican attorney general wants murderers on death row executed as fast as possible — unless their executions conflict with her fundraising schedule.
Pam Bondi is a former Fox News commentator, ardent opponent of President Obama’s new health care law and, most to the point, a strong backer of a recent Florida law called the Timely Justice Act. The law, signed this summer by the state’s Republican Governor Rick Scott, speeds up the legal process so that convicted murderers will be put to death quicker.
But as far as Bondi was concerned, the principle did not apply to serial killer Marshall Lee Gore, convicted of the horrific sex-killings of two women back in the 1980s. Gore was finally scheduled to face execution yesterday, one of the first executions since the new hurry-up-and-kill-them law went into effect.
But Bondi (pictured) called Scott and asked him to delay Gore’s execution date. Scott agreed, allowing the murderer to extend his life until October 1.
The reason? Bondi is running for re-election and she kicked off her campaign with a lavish fundraiser on Monday.
In Florida, the state attorney general is required by law to attend executions. It has long been traditional for a state’s chief law enforcement official to serve as witness to any execution.
Scott said he never asked Bondi for a reason why she wanted Gore’s execution postponed. Once the story got out, she was widely criticized in the press for the request.
“Bondi will soon have to defend the Timely Justice Act before the Florida Supreme Court,” wrote Tampa Bay Times columnist Daniel Ruth. “How does she do that with a straight face?”
Apparently sensing a public relations disaster, Bondi, who said she has already taken part in eight executions, quickly issued a contrite statement.
“The planned execution of Marshall Lee Gore had already been stayed twice by the courts,” she said, “and we absolutely should not have requested that the date of the execution be moved."
SOURCES: Tampa Bay Times (2), Miami New Times, Think Progress (2)