Staying the execution of Bobby Joe Long

Staying the execution of Bobby Joe Long

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Petition to
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

Why this petition matters

Started by Sara Crosby

My dad Bobby Long is scheduled to be executed May 23rd in Fl by lethal injection.I need your help to get the governor to sign a stay. 

A case was ruled on about death row inmates sentencing being in violation of their constitutional rights due to the fact that jurors were not told proper information and even though they were recommending life The judge was giving death.  The Fl court agreed but started with cases from 2002 forward.

Bobby was sentenced in 1985 and the same right was violated for him. He is currently scheduled to be executed May 23rd and needs our help getting the governor to issue a stay until the case is heard about the cases prior to 2002. 

Bobby is a retired vet and was severely injured on active duty. This is when his personality changed. Bobbi had a traumatic brain injury. In the 80's not much was known about treatment and he was sent home a week later. He was a different man. If that injury would have happened now he would have had inpatient care and treatment for years. I am going to try and attach Doctors statements so you can read them. 

Here is a explanation of the court rulings. All I am asking is for him to have the same constitutional right giving him the chance to be re-sentenced if so ruled. 

Thank you for your time and consideration. 


·                     Both the United States Supreme Court and Florida Supreme Court, in cases called Hurst v. Florida and Hurst v. State, ruled that Florida’s death penalty statute was unconstitutional because a judge rather than a jury was ultimately determining whether a person got life without parole or death.  These decisions were based on a prior case from the United States Supreme Court called Ring v. Arizona from 2002, which said that juries rather than judges must make the factual findings supporting a death sentence.


·                     This meant that every death row inmate in Florida sentenced before theHurst decisions, including Mr. Long, was sentenced to death unconstitutionally.


·                     After deciding the Florida death penalty was unconstitutional, the Florida Supreme Court had to decide the issue of retroactivity, which basically means whether the new rule announced in Hurstshould apply to prior cases or not.  The Florida Supreme Court decided to grant retroactivity to death row defendants who were sentenced after Ring in 2002, but deny it to those who were sentenced before Ring, even though they were also sentenced pursuant to an unconstitutional law.  The reasoning of the Florida Supreme Court was essentially that the Florida Courts should have known better after Ring was decided that having a judge decide the sentence was unconstitutional. 


·                     The Ring based cutoff for retroactivity was announced in 2 cases;Mosley, which held that Hurst applied retroactively to post-Ring cases, and Asay, which held Hurst did not apply to pre-Ringcases.


·                     After Mosley/Asay, over 100 death sentenced individuals whose convictions occurred after Ring were granted new sentencing hearings, while over 100 pre-Ring defendant’s, including Mr. Long, did not get a new sentencing hearing, even though they were convicted under the same unconstitutional statute.


·                     About a year after Mosley and Asay announced the Ring based cutoff for retroactivity, the Florida Supreme Court announced that they were reconsidering the issue in a case called Hitchcock, and they stayed every case until they made their decision  Ultimately, they maintained the Ring based cutoff, but every case was put on pause, and no one was executed, until they issued the Hitchcock decision.


·                     Last month, in a case called Owen, the Florida Supreme Court announced that they are once again reevaluating theMosley/Asay Ring based cutoff. 


·                     Because the decision in Owencould affect whether Mr. Long, like the more than 100 post-Ring individuals, will get a new sentencing hearing, the only right thing for the Governor or the Florida Supreme Court to do is to pause Mr. Long’s case, just like they did when Hitchcockwas reconsidering the Ring cutoff. It would be the ultimate miscarriage of justice to allow Mr. Long to be executed, only to have the courts decide a month or so later that he was entitled to a new sentencing hearing.


·                     Regardless of what the Florida Supreme Court ultimately decides in Owen, a stay of execution should be granted to Mr. Long.  Even if the Florida Supreme Court does not grant retroactivity to the pre-Ring cases, the Owen decision will undoubtedly be appealed to the United States Supreme Court, and the right thing to do is to pause Mr. Long’s case and wait for the Court’s to decide if the Ring cutoff is constitutional.   

437 have signed. Let’s get to 500!