Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Preparations Under Way For Rolling's Execution

Preparations Under Way For Rolling's Execution

POSTED: 6:40 pm EDT September 26, 2006

UPDATED: 9:39 am EDT September 27, 2006

RAIFORD, Fla. -- The man convicted of the 1990 murders of five college students in Florida is scheduled to be executed in a month.

Danny Rolling is scheduled to be executed Oct. 25 for the murders of five college students in 1990. Officials are already juggling media requests and plans for additional security at Florida State Prison.

In the summer of 1990, carefree college life turned to fear and hysteria in Gainesville. Five students were stabbed, killed and mutilated. Three of them were from South Florida.

The victims attended the University of Florida or nearby Santa Fe Community College. The focus on the execution of the man convicted of their killings is expected to rival that of Ted Bundy, who was put to death in 1989.

Rolling, a drifter, ended up in jail on an unrelated crime and was eventually tied to the murders and convicted.

On Oct. 25, he is scheduled to die by lethal injection at the Florida State Prison.

Media and public interest is intense.

The Florida Association of Broadcasters is responsible for picking five TV and radio journalists to witness Rolling's execution. There is no lack of volunteers.

"This one has gotten interest from all over the state as well as networks outside the state because, I think, of how horrendous the crimes were, and it affected the whole state," said Pat Roberts of the Florida Association of Broadcasters.

Five newspaper reporters and two wire service reporters will serve as witnesses.

The prison warden in Starke will pick another 12 witnesses, typically including victims' relatives and lawmen who worked the Rolling case.

George Paules, the father of victim Tracey Paules, told the Associated Press, "We don't much care if they burn him, stick him or hang him, as long as they kill him.

"The friend of another victim called Rolling "an animal."Rolling has so far refused requests to talk about his crimes or his pending execution, which will draw many hundreds to Florida State Prison in a month.

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