24 May 2019 :
Bobby Joe Long, 65, White, a serial killer, was executed. Long terrified the Tampa Bay area for eight months in 1984 with a murderous spree that claimed 10 women. Most were strangled, some had their throats slit, and others were bludgeoned. Long confessed to the crimes, receiving 28 life sentences and one death sentence for the murder of 22-year-old Michelle Simms. Long had asked the Court to halt his execution to address “whether an individual who suffers from severe mental illness is exempt from execution under the Eighth Amendment. In 1980, Long received a diagnosis of “Traumatic Brain Disease” from the Veterans Administration as a result of injuries sustained during his military service. He also had a history of several traumatic head injuries during his childhood. Following his diagnosis, he was discharged and given a “service-connected disability rating,” but received little or no treatment from the military or the VA for his brain damage. Four years later, he killed eight women in an eight-month span, including the murder for which he was sentenced to death. At Long’s trial, medical experts testified that his injuries had damaged the areas of the brain responsible for judgment and behavior control. Long was the first person executed in Florida this year, the 98th since Florida resumed executions in 1979, the 8th person executed this year in the US and the 1498th in the U.S. since executions resumed in 1977.