Juan Carlos Chavez Execution Is 13th in Rick Scott's Time as Florida Governor

Gov. Rick Scott has signed off on 13 executions in his first term.

By Hank Tester
|  Thursday, Feb 13, 2014  |  Updated 7:00 PM EDT
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Gov. Rick Scott has signed more death warrants than any other first-term Florida Governor.  Juan Carlos Chavez, executed Wednesday for the rape and murder of a 9-year-old boy in 1995, was number 13. NBC 6's Hank Tester has the story.

Gov. Rick Scott has signed more death warrants than any other first-term Florida Governor. Juan Carlos Chavez, executed Wednesday for the rape and murder of a 9-year-old boy in 1995, was number 13. NBC 6's Hank Tester has the story.

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Photos and Videos

Juan Carlos Chavez Executed in Florida

Juan Carlos Chavez was executed Wednesday night in Florida for the rape and murder of 9-year-old Jimmy Ryce in Miami-Dade County in 1995. The victim’s father Don Ryce, seen above, spoke at a press conference following Chavez's execution. NBC 6’s Ari Odzer reports.

Telemundo 51 Reporter Witnesses Juan Carlos Chavez's Execution

Telemundo 51 reporter Ana Cuervo was one of the reporters who witnessed Juan Carlos Chavez’s death by lethal injection in Florida State Prison Wednesday night. She described the deep pain, sadness and strength in Don Ryce’s face as the execution of his son’s killer was carried out Wednesday night.
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Gov. Rick Scott has signed more death warrants than any other first-term Florida Governor.

Juan Carlos Chavez, executed Wednesday for the rape and murder of a 9-year-old boy in 1995, was number 13.

In his two terms as governor, Jeb bush signed off on 21 executions and Charlie Crist signed off on only five.

Meanwhile, Scott has also signed the "Timely Justice Act," which speeds up how quickly Florida carries out the death penalty.

At a brief vigil at the state capitol Thursday, members of Citizens Against the Death Penalty criticized the governor and the new law.

"There seems to be a need to hurry things along," said organization leader Shiela Meehan.

The day after Chavez's much publicized execution, there were mixed feelings on whether or not the death penalty would actually prevent heinous crimes like Chavez's from happening.

"I guess it is sort of a deterrent, but for others it is not," said Pastor Victor Curry. "The same people are killing people all over the place."

Some agreed.

"If there is a deterrence effect, how long is it?" law professor Mark Dobson, from Nova Southeastern University, said. "It could be a short term effect. We could have a deterrence for a short time, but it would not last long."

Others said they hope the measure would not be in vain.

"[I hope] they will understand it was wrong and will not follow in the footsteps," said a woman who went by the name Trenda.

Currently there are 399 inmates on Florida's Death Row. The Sunshine State ranks fourth in the number of executions since 1976. Texas leads the list with 510; Florida has executed 83.

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