Florida execution delayed because of attorney general’s fundraiser

Florida Atty. Gen. Pam Bondi and Georgia Atty. Gen. Sam Olens at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.
(Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)

Florida’s attorney general has apologized for prompting a delay in an execution originally scheduled for Tuesday because the date conflicted with one of her political fundraisers.

State attorneys general typically march to electoral victory by preaching how tough they are on crime. Enter Florida Atty. Gen. Pam Bondi, who is seeking reelection as convicted murderer Marshall Lee Gore is facing the death penalty.

Gore was set to be executed Tuesday for killing 30-year-old Robyn Novick and 19-year-old Susan Roark in 1988.


It took 25 years for the case to reach this point, not unusual for capital punishment cases, which often get bogged down in appeals.

But what’s unusual in this case is that Bondi asked Gov. Rick Scott, a fellow Republican, to delay Gore’s execution instead of rescheduling a campaign event she’d planned at her South Tampa home, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

The governor said he didn’t know why Bondi had asked to reschedule.

“What’s going on down there? It’s ridiculous,” Phyllis Novick, one of the victim’s mothers, told the newspaper when it broke the story.

When a reporter asked Bondi about the shift, she apologized.

“The planned execution of Marshall Lee Gore had already been stayed twice by the courts, and we absolutely should not have requested that the date of the execution be moved,” Bondi told the Tampa Bay Times.

Barring any changes, Gore’s execution is scheduled for Oct. 1.


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