Witness curses, ridicules inmate as Florida executes convicted killer of two

STARKE, Fla. — A man convicted of killing two people in 1991 on Wednesday became the third inmate executed in Florida since the state resumed carrying out the death penalty after a hiatus.

Fifty-three-year-old Patrick Hannon received a lethal injection and was pronounced dead at 8:50 p.m. at Florida State Prison in Starke, the office of the governor said.

Hannon was strapped to a gurney as witnesses watched on the other side of a glass window. While he expressed regret over the killings, he said it was two accomplices that killed victims Robert Carter and Brandon Snider. Carter was fatally shot and Snider had his throat slashed.

“I hope the execution gives the Carter family some peace. I wish I could have done more to save Robert. I didn’t kill anybody, but I was there,” he said.

As he spoke, one of the victim’s female family members cursed.

“Robby was a good man and a good friend, and I let him down when he needed me most,” Hannon continued. “As far as Brandon Snider, I think that everybody knows what he did to get this ball rolling. I’m sorry things worked out like this the way it did.”

The same woman, who authorities declined to identify later, cursed again in a whisper.

Then as the execution began at 8:38 p.m., the woman made eye contact with Hannon and raised her hand as if to wave “bye, bye.”

Hannon’s body moved during the execution procedure. His lips twitched, his chest heaved and his arms, legs and body appeared to convulse a bit. Then, 12 minutes after the execution began, he was pronounced dead.

Florida resumed executions in August after making changes to its death penalty sentencing law. The law now requires a unanimous jury vote for a death sentence.

The U.S. Supreme Court had previously found that Florida’s old sentencing law, which did not require unanimity, to be unconstitutional. However, the new sentencing law did not affect Hannon’s case because the state’s high court ruled that those decided before 2002 were not eligible for relief.

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