Michael Duane Zack III, convicted for the merciless killings of two women he chanced upon in the bars of Florida Panhandle, met his sentence with lethal injection on Tuesday evening in the stark environment of Florida State Prison. This information was vouched by the state’s Department of Corrections.
Prior to his final tongue-tied encounter with life, Zack enjoyed a meaningful interaction with his wife and spiritual advisor on the said Tuesday. Despite having the privilege of a last meal, Zack chose to decline it, an act that was acknowledged by the department.
The legal drama orbiting around Zack reached the apex of its grit when the eminent US Supreme Court, on a stark Monday, rejected an appeal for the suspension of his execution. This desperate attempt was made by Zack’s defense attorneys who had pleaded for a stay of execution a week prior. Their request echoed lamentably in the court records unfrequented.
Zack’s lawyers, through their legal filing, portrayed the injustice of a lower court that remained unmoved by Zack’s proclaimed intellectual disability. In part due to his mother’s alcohol consumption during pregnancy, Zack, according to his defense counsel, was grappling with fetal alcohol syndrome and posttraumatic stress disorder. These are categorically regarded as a brain dysfunction and mental impairment.
Riding against this plea, a resistance emerged from the attorneys of the state of Florida. On Thursday, they countered with a filing opposing the stay of execution, a development which was etched again into the court records.
The supreme court of the nation turned a deaf ear towards the appeal, passing their silent denial on Monday afternoon, a decision leaving the inevitable imprinted on the court records for all.
In the year of 1997, Zack had faced conviction and the horrifying sentence of death for the brutal murder of Ravonne Smith in June 1996. The two had met at a local bar near Pensacola, with Smith found lifeless within the confines of her home. For another murder of Laura Rosillo, whom he had encountered at an Okaloosa County Florida beach bar, Zack was sentenced with life. The cases narrated merciless killings, coupled with a grim confession from Zack for the murder of Ravonne Smith.
With this morose note, Zack’s execution marked the eighth under the jurisdiction of Governor Ron DeSantis and the sixth witnessed by the state in the year, a statistic captured by the state’s death row data.