Marshall Lee Gore was scheduled to be executed last night but was granted a last-minute reprieve by the court of appeals. He was due to die by lethal injection for the 1988 murders of Robyn Novick and Susan Marie Roark.
The families were prepared for Gore to die and had flown in for the occasion and were disappointed when the execution was canceled. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals decided to hold off on the execution due to the possibility that Gore was not mentally capable of understanding his fate.
"They're upset," retired Columbia Sheriff's Office Lt. Neal Nydam, told the Miami Herald. "They're trying to find closure and it's not going to happen today."
Gore claimed all along that he was insane, but he has no history of mental illness. A panel of psychiatrists also found that Gore was sane and even concocted a conspiracy theory as to why he was being executed. He claimed that the "Illuminati" wanted to sell his organs on the black market.
"This fantastic, imaginative scenario was patently a fabrication designed to mislead the panel and avoid responsibility for his past actions," the panel reported to Governor Rick Scott, who signed Gore's death warrant last month.
He was convicted of the murders in 1995, after Robyn's and Susan's bodies were found. Gore allegedly had a history of violent behavior. In 1988, he kidnapped a woman named Tina, raped her and slit her throat. Gore then stole her car, which had her young son inside. Thankfully police were able to locate the car and the child, who was safe inside.
The execution has been postponed until the court can determine once and for all whether Gore is mentally healthy and capable of being executed. A decision could be made on Thursday, when the court is scheduled to meet next.
Gore's lawyers will likely argue that killing their client falls under cruel and unusual punishment, given his alleged mental condition.