FLORIDA (USA): THOMAS KNIGHT EXECUTED
January 7, 2014: Askari Abdullah Muhammad, previously known as Thomas Knight, was executed in Florida. The 62-year-old inmate was initially condemned to die for the 1974 abduction and killings of Sydney and Lillian Gans of Miami.
Today's execution was specifically for his conviction for the 1980 killing of corrections officer Richard Burke. The execution was delayed because of numerous appeals and rulings, including a 1987 federal appeals court tossing out his original death sentence because he was stopped from putting on character and background witnesses in the penalty phase.
Muhammad becomes the 1st inmate to be put to death this year in Florida and the 82nd overall since the state resumed capital punishment in 1979. Muhammad becomes the 1st inmate to be put to death this year in the USA and the 1360th overall since the nation resumed executions on January 17, 1977. (Sources: Associated Press & Rick Halperin, 07/01/2014)