The Florida Supreme Court on Friday rejected a stay of execution and turned down a series of legal arguments made on behalf of condemned killer Bobby Joe Long.
Gov. Ron DeSantis last month signed a death warrant for Long and scheduled the execution for May 23. Long was sentenced to death in the May 1984 murder of Michelle Simms after picking her up on Kennedy Boulevard in Tampa.
In 1985. Long, now 65, also pleaded guilty to seven additional first-degree murder charges and numerous charges for sexual batteries and kidnappings in the Tampa Bay region.
Long’s attorney this week requested a stay of execution and filed what is known as a petition for writ of habeas corpus that raised a series of legal arguments in support of Long.
As an example, the petition argued that Long should be spared from execution because of a “significant history of mental illness” and the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
“Given his severe mental illness and in light of the evolving standards of decency, Long must be exempt from execution pursuant to the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution,” the petition said.
Justices, however, issued two orders unanimously rejecting the request for a stay of execution and the issues raised in the petition.