Donald Dillbeck Executed in Florida – 100th Execution Since 1975

At 6 p.m., Donald Dillbeck is slated for execution.[0] Dillbeck was executed at Florida State Prison this evening, after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to grant his lawyers’ request for a stay of execution on Wednesday.[0] At the age of 59, Dillbeck was condemned to death row for his conviction of murdering Faye Lamb Vann in a shopping mall parking lot in Tallahassee in 1990.[1]

In his plea to the court, Dillbeck asserted that the Eighth Amendment prohibits his execution for two grounds.[2] At the time of his trial, he had a neurobehavioral disorder associated with prenatal alcohol exposure, although this diagnosis had not yet been created.[2] The jury’s recommendation was that he should receive the death penalty, although not all members of the jury were in agreement.[2] In the majority of states that employ capital punishment, a jury must reach a unanimous verdict regarding the sentence.[2] Under Florida law in 1991, when Dillbeck was sentenced, juries had the power to recommend the death penalty by a majority vote. The jury of Dillbeck’s case voted 8 to 4 in favor of recommending his execution.[2]

On the same day DeSantis signed Dillbeck’s warrant, he floated the idea to lower the jury threshold to recommend a death sentence from unanimity, which is required by current state law, to 8-4. Approximately seven days after, Republican legislators submitted two bills that would permit the alteration and also empower a judge to overrule a jury’s suggestion of life imprisonment and impose the death penalty instead.[3]

In 1979, Dillbeck had been given a life sentence for shooting and killing a police officer during a struggle when he was 15 years old. This was before the 1990 murder.[4]

As protesters gather outside the prison, the family members of Faye Vann issued a written statement saying, “11,932 days ago, Donald Dillbeck brutally killed our mother. We were robbed of years of memories with her, and it has been very painful ever since. However the execution has given us some closure.”[3]

The execution will make Dillbeck the 100th person put to death in Florida since the Supreme Court’s reinstatement of the death penalty in 1975.[4] Currently, there are 301 people on death row in Florida, 298 men and three women.[5]

Dillbeck’s last words were a shot at Governor DeSantis.[3] Strapped to a gurney in the Florida State Prison death chamber he said, “I know I hurt people when I was young.[6] I really messed up.

0. “Donald Dillbeck execution will move forward after Supreme Court rejects stay. Here’s the latest.” Yahoo Life, 23 Feb. 2023,

1. “Inmate receives lethal injection in state’s first execution since 2019” WCJB, 24 Feb. 2023,

2. “Court declines to stay execution of Florida man whose jury did not unanimously vote for death penalty” SCOTUSblog, 23 Feb. 2023,

3. “Strapped to a gurney, death row inmate Donald Dillbeck saves his last words for DeSantis” Yahoo News, 24 Feb. 2023,

4. “Donald Dillbeck Blasts Ron DeSantis in Last Words Before Florida Execution” Newsweek, 24 Feb. 2023,

5. “Protesters want to end executions in Florida as state pushes for lowest death penalty threshold in country” FOX 13 Tampa, 21 Feb. 2023,

6. “Dozens gather at Florida State Prison to hold vigil during execution of Donald Dillbeck”, 24 Feb. 2023,

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