Third execution in Florida this year: Darryl Barwick executed after 36 years on death row

On Wednesday evening, 56-year-old Darryl Barwick was executed by lethal injection in the US state of Florida.

He had first watched a 24-year-old woman sunbathe in 1986 when he was 19, then followed her home, where he killed her with 37 stab wounds.

“It is time to apologize to the victim’s family and to my family. I cannot explain why I did what I did,” Barwick said in his final words while strapped to the execution couch.

“And one other thing I want to say is that the state of Florida needs to show some compassion and mercy because there are so many children in prison. There are 14- and 15-year-olds serving life sentences.”

Darryl Barwick’s life has been marked by violence from the beginning. Death Penalty Action’s petition stated, “He experienced a childhood of unimaginable horrors. His father wanted him aborted, so his mother threw herself down the stairs and used drugs to make that happen. As the youngest and mentally weakest of seven siblings, Darryl faced the brunt of violence.

Darryl’s father beat him with rebar and wood in the construction Darryl was forced to do as a child. He also witnessed his father repeatedly rape his mother. He was diagnosed with brain damage and mental retardation.

Without intervention or treatment, it is not surprising that Darryl’s cycle of violence unfortunately continued. None of this information about Darryl excuses his crime, but based on his life experiences, we believe he deserves mercy.”