The Phoenix Flyer

Gov. DeSantis signs death warrant for 1980s Tampa killer

By: - April 24, 2019 11:09 am

Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed his first death warrant, for Robert Joseph Long, a confessed serial killer from the Tampa area who has been on Death Row since 1989.

Prison officials set the execution for May 23 at 6 p.m., although the warrant authorizes them to put Long to death any time that week.

The document was dated Tuesday and released publicly on Wednesday.

Long, referred to in press accounts as “Bobby Joe,” lost his most recent appeal to the Florida Supreme Court on Jan. 29, 2018 and to the U.S. Supreme Court  Oct. 1, according to documents accompanying the warrant.

Long was convicted in the first-degree murder, kidnapping, and sexual battery of Michelle Sims but reportedly was linked to at least eight murders in the Tampa Bay area.

Here’s a link to the Death Penalty Information Center’s fact sheet on capital punishment in Florida.

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Michael Moline
Michael Moline

Michael Moline has covered politics and the legal system for more than 30 years. He is a former managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal and former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal. He began his career covering the Florida Capitol for United Press International. More recently, he wrote for Florida Politics.

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