Statement on the Execution of Donald Dillbeck
Tonight, We, the People of the State of Florida, executed Donald Dillbeck. While we executed the person who tragically took the lives of Ms. Vann and Deputy Hall, we also executed the infant born addicted to alcohol. We executed the four-year-old who was starved and beaten with extension cords and physically and sexually abused by the one person who was supposed to protect him. We executed the elementary schooler, who was bounced around the foster care system alone, ripped away from his sister, the only person who had ever shown him love. We executed the scared teenager, sent to a violent adult prison where he was subjected to rape and assault. Finally, we executed the man, who for the last 30 years has tried to atone for his devastating crimes. We executed a friend, a mentor, someone who wasn’t a danger to anyone anymore.
We grieve for the victims of his violence and their families. We grieve for his friends. We grieve for the members of his legal team, who worked tirelessly over the years to try to stop this very moment from happening. We grieve for the corrections officers – who tonight had to strap a healthy man to a gurney – and put him to death.
The death penalty does not keep our communities safer. Protecting vulnerable children, and making sure the abused and the traumatized and the mentally ill have access to mental health care – that’s how we keep our community safer. That’s how we end the cycle of violence.
We are better than this.
FADP is a Florida-based, state-wide organization of individuals and groups working together to end the death penalty in Florida. Our network includes dozens of state and local groups and thousands of individual Floridians, including murder victims’ family members and other survivors of violent crime, law enforcement professionals, families of the incarcerated, and death row exonerations.