Eric Branch is scheduled to be executed Thursday for the 1993 murder of University of West Florida student Susan Morris. He has been on death row for almost 25 years after an Escambia County jury in 1994 recommended the death penalty with a 10-2 vote.
The Daily Routine of Death Row Inmates
|Death Row &
Death Watch cells:
|A Death Row cell is 6 x 9 x 9.5 feet high. Florida State Prison also has Death Watch cells to incarcerate inmates awaiting execution after the Governor signs a death warrant for them. A Death Watch cell is 12 x 7 x 8.5 feet high.|
|Meals:||Death Row inmates are served meals three times a day: at 5:00 am, from 10:30 am to 11:00 am and from 4:00 pm to 4:30 pm. Food is prepared by prison staff and transported in insulated carts to the cells. Inmates are given sporks with their meals and they eat from the provided tray. Prior to execution, an inmate may request a last meal. To avoid extravagance, the food to prepare the last meal must cost no more than $40 and must be purchased locally.|
|Visitors:||All inmate visitors must be approved before visitation is allowed. Questions regarding an inmate’s visiting day(s), visiting hours, and special visits should be directed to the Classification Officer responsible for the inmate at the inmate’s assigned facility. Questions may be sent by letter, e-mail or by telephone. Members of the news media may request Death Row inmate interviews through the Department of Corrections Communications Office at (850) 488-0420. The inmate must agree to the interview and the interview will be non-contact.|
|Showers:||The inmates may shower every other day.|
|Security:||Death Row inmates are counted at least once an hour. They are escorted in handcuffs and wear them everywhere except in their cells, the exercise yard and the shower. They are in their cells at all times except for medical reasons, exercise, social or legal visits or media interviews. When a death warrant is signed the inmate is put under Death Watch status and is allowed a legal and social phone call.|
|Inmates may receive mail every day except holidays and weekends. They may have snacks, radios and 13″ televisions in their cells. They do not have cable television or air-conditioning and they are not allowed to be with each other in a common room. They can watch church services on closed circuit television. While on Death Watch, inmates may have radios and televisions positioned outside their cell bars.|
|Clothing:||Death Row inmates can be distinguished from other inmates by their orange t-shirts. Their pants are the same blue colored pants worn by regular inmates.|
The following statistics have been compiled from data collected since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. For more information on the inmates on Florida’s Death Row, go to our Death Row List or our Execution List. These provide specific statistics on each inmate.
Statistics on Executed inmates in Florida*
*Refers to inmates executed after the death penalty was reinstated in Florida, beginning with John Spenkelink’s execution in May 1979.
|44.9 years is the average age at time of execution.|
|27.4 years is the average age at offense for executed inmates.|
|Executions each year since the
reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976
Death Row Notables
|Juveniles: There are no juveniles on Death Row. Death Row inmates younger than 16 at the time of their offense were adjudicated as adults in court proceedings.|
|Two oldest Death Row inmates:
Nelson Serrano – DOB 9/15/38, sentenced from Polk County.
William Kelley â€“ DOB 12/08/1942, sentenced from Highlands County.
|Two youngest Death Row inmates:
David Sparre – DOB 7/07/1991, sentenced from Duval County.
Michael Bargo â€“ DOB 4/29/1992, sentenced from Marion County.
|Oldest inmate executed:
Charlie Grifford – 72, executed on 2/21/51.
|Youngest inmates executed (all 16 years old):
Willie Clay – sentenced from Duval County, executed 12/29/41.
James Davis – sentenced from Alachua County, executed 10/9/44.
Fortune Ferguson – sentenced from Duval County, executed 4/27/27.
Edward Powell – sentenced from Duval County, executed 12/29/41.
|John Spenkelink was the first inmate to be executed in Florida after reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976. He was executed on 5/25/79.|
|Inmate who has been on Death Row the longest continuously:
Norman Parker – served approximately 45 years on death row until his death (not by execution) in 2012.
|On March 30, 1998, Judias “Judy” Buenoano became the first woman to die in Florida’s electric chair. For more on Death Row women, click here. For the latest count of inmates on Death Row, please refer to the Death Row List.|