Florida is scheduled to execute its next Death Row inmate next month.
Lambrix was previously set to die in February 2016 but his execution was halted amid questions over the constitutionality of Florida’s death penalty law.
He has been on Death Row since 1984 after he was convicted in 1983 of murdering Aleisha Bryant and Clarence Moore Jr., following a night of drinking in Glades County.
Scott’s office described the crime as Lambrix having “lured Moore outside, and viciously attacked him with a tire iron, repeatedly hitting him in the head and fracturing his skull. Lambrix then called Bryant to come outside, where he attacked her, kicking her in the head and strangling her.”
But in an interview with the Herald/Times in 2016, Lambrix contended that Moore strangled Bryant and that he used a tire iron to fatally batter Moore in self-defense. He admitted that he and his girlfriend, Frances Smith, buried both victims in a shallow grave and that he refused to call police because he was a fugitive from that work detail.
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Lambrix’s previously scheduled execution in 2016 was halted when the state Supreme Court issued a stay. Justices cited the uncertainty of how past cases should be handled in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision in January 2016 — known as Hurst v. Florida — which deemed Florida’s sentencing procedures unconstitutional.
The Florida Supreme Court in December cemented death sentences for nearly 200 prisoners — including Lambrix — whose sentences were finalized before a June 2002 U.S. Supreme Court ruling referenced in the Hurst decision.
The Legislature, meanwhile, quickly moved to fix the state’s death penalty law during the first week of the 2017 session this spring. The new procedures require a unanimous decision by a jury to sentence a defendant to death.
This is the third death warrant signed for Lambrix. The governor who signed Lambrix’s first death warrant, Bob Martinez, left office in 1991.
The last Death Row inmate to be executed was Mark James Asay, who was put to death just eight days ago.
Asay’s death by lethal injection on Aug. 24 was the first time Florida had used a new anesthetic drug, etomidate. There were no reported complications.
Herald/Times reporter Steve Bousquet contributed.