Ernest Dobbert Florida Execution

Ernest Dobbert - Florida

Ernest Dobbert was executed by the State of Florida for the murders of two of his children. According to court documents Ernest Dobbert would murder his daughter  Kelly Ann, 9, on Dec. 31, 1971. Two months later Ernest Dobbert would murder his son seven year old Ryder. Both children endured months of beatings before their deaths. Ernest Dobbert would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death. Ernest Dobbert would be executed by electric chair on September 7 1984

Ernest Dobbert More News

Ernest John Dobbert Jr., called ‘the most hated man on Florida’s death row’ for the torture deaths of his young daughter and son, went to his death in the electric chair as 20 people outside the prison cheered and applauded.

Dobbert, 46, was pronounced dead at 10:09 a.m. EDT after the Supreme Court denied his last-minute appeal. He accepted his death calmly with a tight-lipped smile and made no final statement

Prison Superintendent Richard Dugger asked, ‘Ernest Dobbert, do you have any last words?’

‘No, No,’ Dobbert said, shaking his head.

Then Dobbert, who said he had become a born-again Christian, winked twice at the Rev. Melvin Biggs of Lynchburg, Va., and his attorney, William P. White, an assistant puiblic defender from Jacksonville, Fla.

He mouthed several words at the two which looked like, ‘I love you.’

As the power was turned on, Dobbert’s fists clenched and then became progressively purple. His head and legs shaved and barefoot, Dobbert wore a new navy blue suit and white shirt.

Outside the sprawling lime-green prison, about 20 pro-death penalty activities cheered and applauded when the execution was announced. About 30 anti-capital punishment protesters gathered nearby and sang hymns

There was a sign in a late-model car following the hearse that carried Dobbert’s boby which said, ‘When murderers die, justice lives.’

Dobbert, a former tire recapper, spent his final hours with his family, including his 17-year-old daughter — the sister of the two children he killed. He refused a final meal.

Dobbert was the sixth man executed in Florida’s oaken electric chair this year and the eighth to die in the state since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. He was the 23rd executed in the United States since the ban was lifted.

Dobbert, a lanky, 200-pound native of Milwaukee, Wis., was convicted of first-degree murder for strangling his daughter, Kelly Ann, 9, Dec. 31, 1971, and sentenced to death. He also was convicted of second-degree murder for the death of his son, Ryder, 7, who died two months after Kelly Ann as the result of constant beatings.

Dobbert, who had claimed to be a victim of child abuse himself, had been scheduled to be part of a double execution Thursday. But he received a stay until today, and Nollie Lee Martin, also a convicted killer, was granted an indefinite delay while his appeal was heard

The Supreme Court, with Justices Thurgood Marshall and William Brennan dissenting, rejected Dobbert’s final appeal at 1:30 a.m. in Washington. Prison spokesman Vernon Bradford said Dobbert ‘was calm and resigned’ when he heard the court’s decision.

‘I think he probably anticipated the decision. I think he felt that way yesterday when the appeals court turned him down,’ Bradford said.

Dobbert, who had been scheduled to die in Florida’s electric chair twice before, was turned down by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta late Thursday and attorneys had rushed his case to the nation’s highest court.

The Atlanta appeals court allowed a temporary stay it had granted Dobbert earlier in the week to expire at 10 a.m. today and state prison officials set his execution for that hour.

Dobbert’s history of venting his violent rages on his children made him ‘the most hated man on Florida’s Death Row,’ officials said. Dobbert admitted beating his children, but denied killing any of them.

Bradford said Dobbert made no request for a special meal and when a breakfast of chipped beef on toast was brought to him, he turned it down.

He was visited late Thursday and early today by several family members including his mother Catherine Dobbert; sister Katherine Sartore; and 17-year-old daughter Honore. She was the little girl who Dobbert abandoned on the steps of a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., hospital when she was 5 while he was fleeing police following the murders.

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