Florida man convicted of rapes and murders in Palm Beach County to be executed soon.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a death warrant for Duane Owen, who is set to be executed next month. Owen was convicted of killing and sexually assaulting two women in separate Palm Beach County attacks in 1984. The scheduled execution on June 15, 2021, marks the fourth this year in Florida since a break dating back to 2019. Three others were executed earlier this year, including Donald Dillbeck in February, Louis Bernard Gaskin in April, and Darryl B. Barwick earlier this month.
While the upcoming execution is only the sixth under Governor DeSantis, it maintains a far slower pace than recent Florida governors. Despite the slow pace, Governor DeSantis is widely expected to run for president in the coming years. The case against Owen began after he broke into a Delray Beach home and attacked 14-year-old Karen Slattery, who was babysitting two young children in March 1984. Owen then repeatedly stabbed the girl and sexually assaulted her, while the young children were unharmed.
Two months later, Owen broke into the home of Georgianna Worden, 38, who was sleeping in her Boca Raton home at the time. Owen fatally struck Worden in the head multiple times with a hammer before raping her. Owen was also accused of attacking two other women in their homes, but they survived. According to court records, at the time of the attacks, Owen was on probation for a 1982 knife attack on another woman.
The scheduled execution has received mixed reactions from the public, with some in favor of the death penalty as justice for the victims and their families, while others have questioned the effectiveness and morality of state-sponsored executions. Advocates of the death penalty argue that it serves as a deterrent to future violent crimes, while opponents argue that it is inhumane and does not address the underlying issues that lead to crime.
Despite the debates surrounding the death penalty, the scheduled execution of Duane Owen is set to proceed as planned, with the state of Florida preparing for the process and the families of the victims seeking closure after decades of waiting for justice.