A 56-year-old man known as the “Ninja Killer” was put to death in Florida. He killed a couple from New Jersey who was visiting in 1989 and stole Christmas presents from their winter home.
Louis Bernard Gaskin admitted to the crime, which he did while dressed like a ninja in all black.
Gaskin said, “The guilt was always there.” “The devil had a stronger grip than God.” I knew I had made a mistake. I wasn’t crazy.’
In 1990, the jury recommended the death penalty by a vote of 8-4, and the judge agreed. Florida law now needs a unanimous jury vote for capital punishment.
Kayla McLaughlin Smith, a spokesperson for the Department of Corrections, said that Gaskin woke up at 4:45 am on Wednesday and ate his last meal at 9:45 am.
His last meal was BBQ pork ribs, pork and turkey neck, buffalo wings, shrimp fried rice, french fries, and water.
Gaskin was put to death at the Florida State Prison in Raiford, which is about 40 miles south of Jacksonville.
No one who knew the people who died was there.
Protesters outside said that Gaskin was mentally ill and called for an end to the death sentence.
The ACLU of Florida wrote, “Louis Gaskin, a mentally ill Black man who was given a death sentence by an all-white jury that did not agree, is set to be put to death in Florida at 6pm.”
“The government shouldn’t kill anyone. Now is the time to stop using the death sentence, which is racist, unfair, and cruel.
Since his death sentence was signed, Gaskin has tried to appeal, but the state and U.S. supreme courts have turned him down. The most recent time was on Tuesday.
Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty sent a petition to Governor Ron DeSantis that was signed by 350 faith leaders.
The petition asked for clemency and said that the jury was not told about Gaskin’s traumatic childhood, which included being exposed to incest, being forced to eat off the floor, and going through “severe family dysfunction.”
But DeSantis has been signing a lot of death warrants this year as he gets ready for his highly expected run for president.
In his first four years in office, he was in charge of only two killings, both in 2019.
Six weeks ago, Donald Dillbeck, 59, was put to death in Tallahassee for killing Faye Vann, 44, in 1990. This execution is happening now.
It is also three weeks until Darryl B. Barwick is put to death for killing Rebecca Wendt, who was 24, in Panama City in 1986.
If Barwick is put to death as planned, it will be the shortest time between three killings in Florida since 2014, when three people were put to death in 36 days.
When Gaskin dies, it will be the 100th time the state has put someone to death since 1976, when the death sentence was brought back.