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FOX 13 Tampa Headlines

Mother of victim reacts to FL death penalty changes

Mary Dicke has asked herself one question, every moment, for 21 years.

"Why should he still be breathing?"

She refers to Glen Rogers, the man convicted of killing her daughter, Tina Marie Cribbs.

Cribbs was found dead in a Tampa motel room in 1995. Cops eventually caught Rogers in Kentucky, and have pinned at least four more murders on him - from Mississippi, to Ohio, to California.

He is sentenced to die.

"I hope the state of Florida will keep their word," she said.

That will depend on what state supreme court justices make of the arguments they heard Thursday in the case of Timothy Hurst, a killer from Escambia County.

In January, the U.S. Supreme Court threw out Florida's death penalty because, they said judges - not juries - should have the final say.

Now they'll decide whether Hurst and the other 390 on Florida's death row will have their sentences commuted to life.

"I was promised that in seven years the state of Florida would take care of this, that he would be put to death," said Dicke. "21 years later, [we] are having the same conversation."

Dicke acknowledged if Florida's supreme court throws out every death penalty case decided by a judge, Rogers could still get death in California - though that state has not executed anyone in over a decade.

"They tell me that the people of Florida do not want an express lane," she said. "That is a lie."

Since Rogers was sentenced in 1997, Dicke has beaten lung cancer, brain cancer and watched her grandchildren try to recover from the loss of their mother.

She vows to live to see Rogers die.

"God is on my side," said Dicke. "I hope he will remain on my side until I do see this done."

Prosecutors insist the sentences should stand because the U.S. Supreme Court only ruled part of the old statute unconstitutional.

But lawyers for Hurst said the punishment cannot be separated from the procedure. There is no sign as to when the state court will rule.

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