A Look at Florida’s Death Row

Juan Carlos Chavez execution to be latest in 90-year history in Florida


Wednesday's scheduled execution of Jimmy Ryce murderer Juan Carlos Chavez will already be the second of this year in Florida and the latest in the state's 90-year-old history of death row executions.

The state's first execution happened on October 7, 1924, when Frank Johnson met his fate in the electric chair. In 1929 and from May 1964 to May 1979, there were no executions in the state.

Executions resumed shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the death penalty. Since 1979, the state has executed 82 inmates, including 7 last year.

The average length of stay on Florida's death row is 14.91 years while the average number of years between offense and execution is 16.60 years. The average age at time of execution is 46.56 years.

The oldest inmate executed was 72-year-old Charlie Grifford on Feb. 21, 1951. The youngest inmates executed were 16-year-olds Willie Clay and James Davis, in 1941 and 1944, respectively.

Florida's longest death row inmate is Douglas Meeks who received the sentence on March 21, 1975.

On March 30, 1998, Judias "Judy" Buenoano became the first woman to die in the electric chair in Florida.

Florida administers the execution by lethal injection or the electric chair, which was constructed of oak in 1998. The executioner is an anonymous private citizen who is paid $150 per execution.

A death row cell is 6 x 9 x 9.5 feet high, and inmates may shower every other day. Prior to their execution, a death row inmate may request a final meal, which must cost no more than $40 and must be purchased locally.

On the day of execution, inmates receive their final visit between 8 and 11 a.m. and their final meal between 9:45 and 10 a.m. They are visited by a religious advisor between noon and 2 p.m. and are offered a shower at 2:45 p.m.

The execution is scheduled for 6 p.m.

As of Wednesday, there were 400 inmates on Florida's Death Row, including five women.

Contact Us