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Florida executed Miami’s Jose Antonio Jimenez by lethal injection on Thursday night, 26 years after he viciously stabbed a woman to death during a burglary.
Jimenez was pronounced dead at 9:48 p.m. The execution, originally set for 6 p.m., was delayed by a last-minute request to the U.S. Supreme Court to stay the execution. The court declined without comment Thursday night, according to the Associated Press.
Jimenez was convicted of the 1992 murder of 63-year-old Phyliss Minas, a clerk at the Miami-Dade criminal courthouse who was home alone when Jimenez broke in. He stabbed her eight times, including two fatal thrusts to the heart. Jurors in 1994 voted unanimously to send Jimenez to Death Row.
Jimenez, 55, was the fifth killer executed since Florida changed how it administers lethal injections, a process that critics say may be cruel and unusual punishment. In 2017, the state included a drug called etomidate — intended to induce unconsciousness — to the lethal cocktail administered to inmates during execution.
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In arguing against the drug, Jimenez’s lawyers cited the last execution of a Florida inmate: Eric Branch, who was put to death in February for the 1993 murder of a college student. According to defense lawyers, Branch screamed and his head, body and legs shook as the drug was administered.
The Florida Supreme Court, however, rejected the claim, saying it had already “fully considered and approved” the current method of execution.
Gov. Rick Scott originally scheduled Jimenez’s execution for July 18, but the Florida Supreme Court issued a stay as his defense lawyers claimed that North Miami hadn’t turned over key police records. The high court rejected the appeal in October, paving the way for Thursday’s execution.
Jimenez, a former house painter with a history of crack-cocaine addiction, was also convicted of the 1990 murder of a woman on Miami Beach. He was sentenced to 17 years in prison for that killing.
Jimenez woke up Thursday about 7:30 a.m., and later met with a Catholic spiritual adviser. “His mood was calm. His mood was in good spirits,” Florida corrections spokeswoman Michelle Glady said at an afternoon press briefing.
His last meal: a Cuban sandwich, bacon, five over easy eggs, french fries, vanilla-chocolate ice cream and chocolate syrup.