Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has pretty much admitted she values money more than justice.
Bondi has come under fire for postponing the execution of a cold-blooded killer and rapist who committed ghastly crimes in Miami-Dade so that she could instead attend a lavish fundraiser meant to kick off her re-election campaign.
Ironically, Bondi has made it very clear she agrees with the death penalty. She was a staunch supporter of Gov. Rick Scott's controversial plan to speed up the execution timeline of death row inmates.
Marshall Lee Gore, now 50, was convicted of killing two women in the late '80s -- one in Miami-Dade County and one in Columbia County. Gore was arrested after he kidnapped a dancer who worked for Tootsie's Cabaret, raped her, slit her throat, left her for dead in a field in Homestead, stole her car, and then made off in the vehicle with the victim's 2-year-son in the back seat. That victim survived and alerted police, which led to the discovery of a nude corpse belonging to another of Gore's victims, Robyn Novick. Gore was also found guilty in the death of Susan Roark in Columbia County.
After a prolonged legal battle by Scott's office, the state had finally set his execution for tonight.
Scott had championed a new law that was designed to speed up the death row process and limit appeals that Republican lawmakers felt were meant just to delay execution. Scott signed the Timely Justice Act of 2013 into law June 15. Bondi publicly defended the law through her office.
So many people were left scratching their heads as to why Scott would delay one of the first few executions after signing the law, and even more so when Scott said he was simply responding to a request from Bondi's office to move the date.
The News Service of Florida then discovered that Bondi had requested the delay because it conflicted with a "hometown kickoff" fundraiser event for her re-election campaign. Bondi, who previously served as a prosecutor in Hillsborough County and a legal analyst for Fox News, will seek a second term next year.
The fundraiser is scheduled to occur at a waterfront home in Tampa. A who's who of Republican bigwigs are listed on the host committee, including House Speaker Will Weatherford and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.
Accusation of hypocrisy and skewed priorities have now engulfed the AG, and Bondi -- in a statement released to the Palm Beach Post -- has now admitted she was wrong to ask to reschedule Gore's execution to attend the event:
"As a prosecutor, there was nothing more important than seeing justice done, especially when it came to the unconscionable act of murder. I personally put two people on death row and, as Attorney General, have already participated in eight executions since I took office, a role I take very seriously.
"The planned execution of Marshall Lee Gore had already been stayed twice by the courts, and we absolutely should not have requested that the date of the execution be moved."
Gore's execution has now been set for October 1 and 6 p.m. Let's hope Bondi can work it into her busy schedule. Attorney generals are now under legal duty to attend the executions; however, they've traditionally been present.
Bondi has yet to draw either a Republican primary challenger or a Democratic opponent.
Follow Kyle Munzenrieder on Twitter: @Munzenrieder
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