Florida Executes Death Row Inmate Duane Owen
(CNN) — Florida executed death row inmate Duane Owen by lethal injection Thursday night, nearly four decades after he murdered a 14-year-old nanny and a single mother of two in separate attacks.
Owen was convicted of the 1984 rape and fatal stabbing of teenager Karen Slattery and the rape and murder of 38-year-old Georgianna Worden in Palm Beach County.
Owen’s Final Moments
Owen declined to make a final statement, according to CNN affiliate WPBF.
Relatives of the victims were present at the execution. After it was over, Slattery’s younger sister, Debbi Johnson, said the family can now close Karen’s book, put it on a shelf, and move on.
- US Supreme Court rules in favor of Alabama death row inmate seeking nitrogen execution
Remembering the Victims
“He didn’t open his eyes. I know because I looked at it,” Johnson said at a news conference. “He made no statement, no verbal statement anyway. He died with dignity, and unfortunately his victims did not,” he added.
Johnson, who is now a deputy sheriff in Monroe County, Florida, was 10 years old when his older sister was killed.
“With the rain today, I was really hoping to see a rainbow. Because that’s what my mom always said: ‘Every time you see a rainbow, it’s Karen smiling at us,'” Johnson said.
The Brutal Crimes
Slattery was repeatedly stabbed and raped in a Delray Beach home while the two children she cared for slept.
Two months later, Owen killed Worden, a Boca Raton native, with a hammer while her two young children slept nearby, according to WPBF.
A Long Legal Battle
Owen had been on death row since his conviction, and despite decades of insanity appeals, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed his death warrant this year, according to CNN affiliate WPBF.
Last Meal and Legacy
For his last meal, Owen ordered a bacon cheeseburger, no bun, plus onion rings, strawberries, cherry ice cream, a vanilla milkshake, and coffee, according to the state Department of Corrections.
Johnson said the response from authorities to her sister’s case and the work the officers did inspired her to join the police force.
“The shutdown may be a myth, but fairness is not,” Johnson said.
“Thirty-nine years and this process is finally over,” he added. “He served his sentence. It’s the end”.
Death Penalty in Florida
Owen is the fourth inmate to be executed in the state this year. Florida is one of 27 states where the death penalty is maintained, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Three of those states have moratoriums imposed by governors.