STARKE, Fla. — Before the state of Florida executes serial killer Bobby Joe Long Thursday evening, the execution team will undergo an extensive preparation period to ensure the process goes as planned.
The FBI linked Long to the homicides of 10 women over a period of roughly eight months. The victims ranged in age from 18 to 28 years old. Most were strangled or asphyxiated, while one was shot and another had her throat slashed.
According to the Department of Corrections, the warden will select a primary and secondary executioner as part of a larger execution team. The primary executioner’s role is to inject the flow of chemicals into the death row inmate. The secondary executioner is there for backup.
Executioners have the option to keep their identity confidential, and they are paid $150 per execution.
Thirty minutes before the execution, officials will call the governor to make sure there is no reason for delay. After that, two executioners are escorted into the executioner’s room until the entire process is complete.
A warden will then read the execution warrant to the inmate before the execution team applies wrist restraints to the inmate. Once those steps are complete, Long will be escorted to the execution chamber.
For the execution, Long will be placed on a gurney with heart monitors. Fifteen minutes out, witnesses are escorted into the room and the execution chamber is secured. Long will be given the opportunity to make a statement over the PA to the witness gallery. Afterward, the PA system is turned off, and the execution begins.
The executioner will inject 100mg of Etomidate into an IV connected to Long. More etomidate is injected afterward, along with a mix of other drugs to complete the execution.
Execution team members will watch the heart monitors throughout, and once a physician determines there is no more heartbeat, the inmate will be pronounced dead.
Long has tried multiple times to delay his execution. Most recently, a judge denied his request. His attorneys argued the lethal injection drugs would interfere with Long’s medical condition, and the pain inflicted would be cruel and unusual punishment.
Lula Mae Williams attended that hearing. Her daughter, Chanel, was one of the women Long murdered in 1984. Williams said seeing Long continue to ask for delays was hurtful and frustrating.
“He's worried about that. Naw, you go on and take that (lethal injection). You won't know nothing. It's over,” she said on May 3. “The time has come. It's time to end this. He shouldn't be going on like this."
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