The Florida Supreme Court ruled that a death row inmate convicted of murdering two women in 1988 was mentally fit to be executed on Tuesday. The Supreme Court justices unanimously rejected Marshall Lee Gore’s attorneys’ arguments that he is insane and that executing him would therefore constitute a form of cruel and unusual punishment, which is prohibited by the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Gore’s attorneys filed a brief in July alleging that, "To execute someone like Marshall Gore would disserve the penological purposes of the death penalty and exact a uniquely cruel punishment at odds with the core value of the Eighth Amendment -- human dignity,” the News Service of Florida reported.
In their eight-page opinion, the court wrote that Gore was deliberately faking symptoms of insanity. "In its order, the circuit court found that Gore is feigning delusional thoughts that his execution was scheduled in order to harvest his organs, a conspiracy theory purportedly involving China, the Illuminati, Satan worshippers, the national debt, and the Governor. In fact, the circuit court determined that '[t]here is no credible evidence that Gore’s mental state is such that he believes he is being executed for any reason other than the murder of [the Miami-Dade victim].'"
They substantiated their claim with a previous court ruling that "Gore is not mentally ill [and] that he has a rational understanding that he is being executed because he murdered Ms. Novick and will die as a result of that execution."
Gore, now 49, was found guilty of killing two women, Robyn Novick and Susan Roark, 25 years ago. Novick, who witnesses last saw alive in a parking lot, was located by police in a pile of trash, naked, stabbed and apparently asphyxiated. Gore later admitted to law enforcement officials that he ran an escort service and had employed Novick. That same year, he was also found guilty of murdering a second woman, Susan Roark. Her body was found in a rural area in northern Florida, UPI reported.
Gore’s 1988 arrest took place after one of his victims, a stripper named Tina who he kidnapped, survived being raped, beaten, and left for dead. After the rape, Gore slit the woman’s throat and beat her over the head with a rock before fleeing the scene. When she awoke, she contacted police and told them that Gore had stolen her car and also kidnapped her then 2-year-old son.
After an extensive search, police found her son locked alive in a cabinet in an abandoned house in Georgia. According to the Miami Herald, Gore was arrested in Kentucky and subsequently sentenced to death.
Gore is scheduled to be executed on Sept. 10 by lethal injection.
The setting of his execution date follows a controversial measure aimed at expediting the execution process known as “The Timely Justice Act,” that Florida Governor Rick Scott passed into law in June.
Opponents of the law say that it will make it more difficult for innocent inmates to be exonerated and will result in a “bloodbath” of executions. "Gov. Scott came to Tallahassee to restructure our economy and drag us out of the recession, but if this happens history will note him as the governor who signed more warrants than anyone else,' Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, told the Tampa Bay Times.