Prisoner’s odd last meal request
Many would want something gourmet, but a death-row prisoner set for execution in Florida chose a specific combination of comfort foods for his last meal.
Jose Antonio Jimenez ate a Cuban sandwich, eggs, French fries and ice cream before his lethal injection on Thursday night.
The classic pork and cheese sandwich used to be served to Cuban immigrant workers in Florida and was later brought to Miami.
Jimenez, 55, was described by prison officials as calm and in good spirits hours before he was scheduled to be put to death.
He was visited on Thursday by a spiritual adviser before his execution at 6pm for the fatal beating and stabbing of Phyllis Minas, 63, in her North Miami apartment in 1992.
Jimenez was pronounced dead at 9.48pm at Florida State Prison in Starke.
His execution took about 15 minutes and he had no last words.
As the three-drug protocol was performed, Jimenez appeared to take numerous rapid, deep breaths and occasionally moved his head.
The US Supreme Court rejected his last-minute appeal earlier in the day.
Ms Minas's nephew, Alan Pattee, said in a written statement that his family believed justice had been done.
"Mr Jimenez has shown no remorse or repentance for his crime. My aunt was innocent and loving, and a faithful sister to my father," the statement said. "His execution will allow closure to a painful memory of the vicious murder Mr Jimenez was responsible for."
Court records show that on October 2, 1992, Ms Minas found Jimenez in her second-floor apartment.
During his trial, neighbours said they heard her screaming and tried to enter, but someone inside had locked the door.
Prosecutors at the trial said a fingerprint found on the inside of the door matched Jimenez's print and the building manager said he saw the man jump from a balcony of the apartment.
The defence argued that Jimenez didn't stab or kill Ms Minas, and that all of the evidence against him was circumstantial.
Authorities said Jimenez was a cocaine addict who was burgling Ms Minas's apartment when she came home and surprised him. Investigators said Ms Minas, a longtime employee of the Miami-Dade Court Clerk's office, was stabbed eight times.
After a weeklong trial, Jimenez was found guilty and he was later sentenced to death.
He was also convicted of a prior burglary and second-degree murder in the 1990 death of another woman in Miami Beach.
Over the years, he filed various appeals but they were denied and Florida Governor Rick Scott signed Jimenez's death warrant in July, scheduling the execution for August.
The Florida Supreme Court issued a stay to consider a number of Jimenez's claims, including that he was denied access to public records, that the state's lethal injection protocol is cruel and unusual punishment and that it was cruel for him to be executed after 23 years on death row.
They pointed to the February execution of Eric Branch using the same drugs, in which experts later concluded he felt significant pain, after he screamed "murderers!" several times as he thrashed about on the gurney.
His lawyers filed a motion asking the court to consider whether it violated the Eighth Amendment to the US Constitution. In October, the court denied all those claims and lifted the stay.
Jimenez and his lawyers this week told the US Supreme Court detectives who investigated the case gave "false or, at best, misleading testimony." They said several key police reports had been lost.
Judges denied his request for a stay of execution on Thursday night.
According to corrections officials, there have been 27 executions since Mr Scott took office in 2011, and Jimenez's is the 28th. That's the most of any Florida governor since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.