New execution date set for Miami mass killer Ferguson

 

dovalle@MiamiHerald.com

Miami mass killer John Errol Ferguson, whose execution was delayed for nine months over questions of his sanity, will be put to death at 6 p.m. on Aug. 5, the governor’s office announced Tuesday.

Ferguson, 65, has been on Death Row for more than three decades following convictions in eight murders.

He originally was scheduled to die by lethal injection in October but was issued a last-minute stay as defense lawyers insisted he was schizophrenic and his execution amounted to “cruel and unusual” punishment.

His defense team has pointed to Ferguson’s belief that he is the “Prince of God” as evidence that mental illness should keep him from execution.

The new execution date came as a federal appeals court Tuesday affirmed a May decision upholding a Bradford County judge’s ruling that Ferguson indeed understands why is being put to death.

Ferguson was convicted of the July 1977 murders of six in Carol City during a home-invasion robbery. At the time, it was the worst mass murder in Miami-Dade history.

He was convicted separately of murdering Belinda Worley, a 17-year-old Hialeah High senior, and Brian Glenfeldt, 17, in January 1978. Ferguson also was convicted of attempted murder in the robbery of another couple at a lover’s lane.

And, Ferguson was a suspect, but was never charged, with the robbery and killing of an elderly couple at a Miami motel.

He will be executed at Florida State Prison in Starke.

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