STARKE – A man who was convicted of murdering eight people in Miami-Dade County in the late 1970s has been executed at the Florida State Prison.
John Errol Ferguson died at 6:17 p.m. today, following a lethal injection.
The execution came after months of court appeals. Ferguson’s lawyers said that their client had a long history of mental illness and that it would be unconstitutional for the state to execute him. The U.S. Supreme Court denied a stay this afternoon.
The 65-year-old was convicted of murdering six people in a drug-related crime in 1977. All six were blindfolded, bound and shot in the back of the head.
Ferguson also was convicted in the 1978 murders of two Hialeah teenagers.
He chose to eat the same food other prisoners were being served as his final meal: A meat and vegetable patty, white bread, stewed tomatoes, potato salad, carrots and cold tea.
He was visited by his two attorneys and a spiritual adviser.
Gov. Rick Scott initially signed Ferguson’s death warrant last fall. But court appeals kept the execution from moving forward.