Why did DeSantis terminate Florida killer Duane Owen's execution delay?

WEST PALM BEACH — Duane Owen's, 62, temporary stay of execution has been "dissolved and terminated" by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. The death row inmate is once again scheduled to die by lethal injection on June 15, making him the fourth person to be executed by the state.

Nearly 40 years ago, Owen killed a 14-year-old Delray babysitter and a Boca Raton mom of two in separate attacks. Last week, DeSantis issued an executive order in response to a request made by Owen's attorneys for a psychological evaluation to determine if Owen's mental state could exempt him from lethal injection.

The executive order came only one week after the governor signed off on Owen's execution, and stated that the governor claimed the allegations of Owen's mental health were not sufficient to claim insanity. But DeSantis green-lit the evaluation because his "solemn duty to execute a duly imposed sentence of death require(d) the exercise of utmost caution."

DeSantis appointed three psychiatrists to assess Owen's mental state.

Photo gallery: Killer Duane Owen on death row.

DeSantis delays execution of Duane Owen: Here's why

Why did DeSantis terminate Duane Owen's execution delay?

On May 25, just three days after DeSantis approved a temporary hold on Owen's death penalty date, the governor issued another executive order dissolving that action. The psychiatric evaluation that his attorneys ordered revealed that his current mental state is coherent enough for him to understand the reasoning behind his sentence.

"The Commission has completed its examination of Duane Eugene Owen," the executive order said. "And has concluded that (Owen) has the mental capacity to understand the nature of the death penalty and the reasons why it is to be imposed upon him."

Duane Owen is once again scheduled to die by lethal injection on June 15 at 6 p.m.

Opinion: If the state of Florida is for protecting life, it should be against executing Duane Owen

Which level of government has control over the death penalty?

State governments control the vast majority of death sentences, while the Federal Bureau of Prisons controls death penalty decisions for those that are on death row in federal prisons.

Up until April, in the state of Florida, a jury needed to unanimously agree on the death penalty before a judge can sentence a defendant to death. This rule cropped up in 2017, after the state abolished a judge's judicial override to dole out a death sentence regardless of the jury's decision.

In April, DeSantis signed a bill that drastically changed the ruling upheld since 2017 and made Florida the state with the loosest rules surrounding the death penalty.

Nikolas Cruz: He would have been the youngest, most destructive inmate on Florida's death row

They watched Florida executions: What they saw, how they felt after. In their words

Dig deeper: DeSantis signs law allowing death penalty for child rape, defying US Supreme Court ruling

How Governor DeSantis has changed Florida's death penalty laws

DeSantis' April bill was the governor's response to the ruling of the Nikolas Cruz case. When the Parkland shooter didn't receive the death penalty in October, outrage rippled throughout the state. Families and supporters of the 17 victims who were killed when Cruz opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018 were shocked that Cruz was spared the death penalty. The gunman of the deadliest high school shooting in U.S. history was sentenced to life in prison.

The sentencing was a result of just a few jurors who opposed sentencing Cruz to death. The jury voted 9 to 3 in favor of the death penalty. On April 20, DeSantis signed a bill that allows juries to recommend a death sentence with only an 8-to-4 vote, making Florida's threshold for a death sentence the lowest in the nation.

Lianna Norman covers trending news in Palm Beach County for The Palm Beach Post. You can reach her at lnorman@pbpost.com. You can follow her reporting on social media @LiannaNorman on Twitter.

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Florida death penalty plan resumes for Duane Owen with Ron DeSantis OK