"Final Florida gubernatorial debate heated and personal," is by Dara Kam of the News Service of Florida, via the Tallahassee Democrat.
In another pointed exchange, the two candidates wrestled over the death penalty. Scott, who has signed a record number of death warrants in his first term in office, pushed lawmakers to pass a measure this spring that supporters said was aimed at speeding up the time between convictions and executions.
The question about executions prompted an intense back-and-forth between the two governors over an execution that Scott rescheduled last year at the request of Attorney General Pam Bondi. The attorney general asked to have the execution delayed because it conflicted with a fundraiser slated for the same evening for her re-election campaign.
"Now, to me, and my way of thinking, that doesn't sound like somebody is taking that solemn duty as seriously as they should. I don't understand that," Crist said.
Creative Loafing Tampa posts, "Crist takes the final debate," by Mitch Perry.
On the subject of the death penalty, Crist put Scott on the defensive when he mentioned that Attorney General Pam Bondi had postponed a scheduled execution of death row inmate Marshall Lee Gore In September 2013 to attend a political fundraiser, an embarrassing incident that Bondi ultimately apologized for. But Crist was relentless, and accused Scott of signing off on that delay. Scott stumbled in responding, ultimately repeating that Bondi had apologized.
"Rick Scott Refuses To Say If He Knowingly Delayed An Execution For A Political Fundraiser," is by Amelia Rosch for ThinkProgress.
Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) refused to say if he had knowingly granted a request to delay an execution so that Attorney General Pam Bondi (R) could hold a political fundraiser, repeatedly saying “she apologized” instead.
During a debate Tuesday night, the moderator asked Democratic nominee Charlie Crist if he believed that Scott did not take executions seriously. Crist hit Scott on the delay, saying, “Just this past year, an execution here in Florida was delayed by the governor so the attorney general could go forward and have a political fundraiser…to me and my way of thinking, that doesn’t sound like someone is taking that solemn duty as seriously as they should.”
Since coming to office in 2011, Scott and Bondi have overseen over 18 executions; Crist oversaw five during his term as governor. Scott has been criticized of his support for the 2013 Timely Justice Act, which reduced delays in the death penalty by reducing the amount of time between when the clemency process was exhausted and when the execution was carried out.