Monday, Nov. 24, 2008
Inmate again faces execution
TAMPA — A Florida inmate faces execution despite new revelations that the state prompted a trial witness to lie, according to a news report from the Death Penalty Information Center.
Inmate Wayne Tompkins was to be executed Oct. 28, but was granted a stay of execution to allow time for the state Supreme Court to review his case.
Tompkins, 51, has been on death row since September 1985 for a March 24, 1983, murder in Hillsborough County, according to information from the Florida Department of Corrections.
On Nov. 7, the court denied Tompkins’ appeal, even though the court acknowledged that a state witness, a jailhouse informant, admitted to providing false testimony at Tompkins’ original trial in 1985. Justice Harry Anstead dissented from the court’s ruling, noting that jailhouse informants are often unreliable, and in this case the informant was apparently prompted to lie, the news report states. He wrote, “Indeed, if the claim is true, we have a state prosecutor who committed a criminal act in tampering with a witness. Surely, common sense would tell us this is the kind of ‘bombshell’ disclosure that could change the jury’s entire evaluation of the case.”
Tompkins’ stay of execution expired Nov. 18.
— Natalie Neysa Alund