Florida Execution Carried Out After 40 Years


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A Florida man, who spent nearly 40 years on death row, was executed on Tuesday.

In 1974, Askari Abdullah Muhammad, 62, also known as Thomas Knight, abducted and killed his former boss and boss' wife Sydney and Lillian Gans. Four years later, Muhammad murdered Richard Burke, a prison guard, with a sharpened spoon. He was sentenced to die for Burke's killing in 1983.

Several of Burke's family members witnessed his execution, and were seen sitting in the front row on Tuesday. "This is where my dad took his last breath," said Burke's daughter 47-year-old Carolyn Burke Thompson. "The system finally has worked. I am at peace knowing I don't have to wait any longer. I miss my dad a lot."

Muhammad's death was postponed on several occasions due to appeals that he made to the court. Last month, Muhammad argued the use of the sedative, midazolam hydrochloride, which is the first of the series of three drugs used in Florida's executions, because it allegedly causes the inmates to suffer.

Muhammad's final appeal came in late December, where he argued that the state "withheld evidence of his mental condition" that could have disputed premeditation in the murder of Burke. His appeal was rejected.

Muhammad made no final comments before he was executed, and was pronounced dead at 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday.

Image via NDN