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Courts / Law

Execution Set for Thursday, 19th Under Scott

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AP Photo/Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement

A Florida man is scheduled to die by lethal injection Thursday, and he’ll be the nineteenth inmate put to death during Governor Rick Scott’s first term.

Scott is close to meeting the all-time record of 21 executions set by former Governor Jeb Bush’s during his two terms.

Scott has also signed more death warrants than any other modern day Florida Governor in one term.

Following Wednesday's Cabinet meeting, Scott said it’s his duty.

“The job of Governor, one of the most solemn duties, and maybe the most solemn duty is capital punishment. I take it very seriously, but what I think about it, when I do it, is I think about the victims, I think about their families. It’s what I think about, and I’m going to continue to do the job that I committed to do,” Scott said.

Chadwick Banks was convicted of raping and murdering his 10-year-old stepdaughter 22 years ago, just minutes after he killed her mother.

Banks, 43, is scheduled to die at 6 p.m. Thursday at Florida State Prison in Starke for the 1992 slaying of Melody Cooper, who was found slumped on her bed at a Gadsden County home. The body of her mother, Cassandra Banks, was nearby.

Chadwick Banks, who was 21 at the time, is serving a life sentence for his wife's murder.

Banks' attorneys have asked the federal courts to intervene, arguing Florida's lethal injection process violates the ban on cruel and unusual punishment and that he received ineffective legal counsel. His lawyer, Terri Backhus, didn't return a phone message and email seeking comment Wednesday.

The Florida Supreme Court unanimously rejected Banks' appeal last week and denied his stay of execution request.