Gov. Rick Scott confirmed Monday that he agreed with Attorney General Pam Bondi's request to delay the upcoming execution of a murderer because it conflicted with her campaign kickoff in Tampa on Tuesday evening. But Scott told reporters he did it as a courtesy and did not know the reason why.
The schedule change, as the News Service of Florida first reported, moves the execution of Marshall Lee Gore from Tuesday to Oct. 1.
"Her office contacted my office and asked for a postponement, and that's what we did. No, I did not know (the reason)," Scott told reporters at the Capitol. Pressed for an opinion on the propriety of such a decision, Scott demurred."We set the date," Scott said. "The attorney general's office asked for a postponement, so we went along with that ... When another Cabinet officer asks for something, we try to work with them."
Florida's Sunshine Law prohibits Scott and Bondi from having private conversations about official business. Bondi, as the state's legal officer, has defended a new state law known as the Timely Justice Act, designed to prevent Death Row inmates and their lawyers from using dilatory tactics to delay executions.
Gore's execution is set for 6 p.m. Oct. 1 at the death chamber at Florida State Prison in Starke.
When Gore's execution was delayed previously this past summer because of legal questions about his sanity, a relative of Gore's victim, Robyn Gayle Novick, publicly criticized the decision.
-- Steve Bousquet