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Thomas Harrison Provenzano

Thomas Harrison Provenzano

American convicted murdered
Thomas Harrison Provenzano
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American convicted murdered
Was Electrician
From United States of America
Type Engineering
Gender male
Birth 6 June 1949, United States of America, USA
Death 21 June 2000, Starke, USA (aged 51 years)
Star sign Gemini
The details


Thomas Harrison Provenzano (June 6, 1949 – June 21, 2000) was a convicted murderer executed by means of lethal injection by the state of Florida. Provenzano said he believed himself to be Jesus Christ and also compared his execution with Christ's crucifixion.


Provenzano was an unemployed electrician when, on January 10, 1984, he entered the Orange County courthouse in Orlando carrying a shotgun, an assault rifle, and a revolver, along with a large quantity of ammunition. He opened fire with the revolver when two bailiffs approached to search him. Provenzano had been charged with disorderly conduct five months earlier and had gone to the courthouse with the intention of shooting the officer who had charged him. Instead, he killed 60-year-old Deputy Sheriff William Arnie Wilkerson, a retired Navy Lt. Commander who had served 14 years with the Sheriff's Department. In addition, 53-year-old Deputy Sheriff Harry Dalton was wounded and suffered brain damage, becoming partially paralyzed and eventually dying from his injuries in 1991. 19-year-old Correctional Officer Mark Parker was hit in the spine and paralyzed from the neck down after being caught in the crossfire as he used his own body to shield a civilian from the gunfire. Parker eventually died in March 2009 due to complications from his injuries. Provenzano would be found guilty and sentenced to death for the attack.

Legal proceedings

In 1999, the state of Florida heard a petition from Provenzano that argued that the electric chair was a cruel and unusual punishment. During the proceedings, Michael Minerva, who had witnessed Jerry White's execution, said that "White's body stiffened and was thrust upward and backward to the back of the electric chair" after the current had been switched on.

He stated he heard air moving through White's lips and throat, though he could not tell whether the air was going in or out. But even after the execution by electric chair of Allen Lee Davis had caused many irregularities, the constitutionality of the electric chair remained upheld. However, by the time the inmate following Davis was to be executed, Florida inmates sentenced to death could choose between lethal injection and the electric chair.

Provenzano was originally scheduled to be the second person executed in Florida's newly built electric chair on July 14, 1999, but the execution was stayed following the gruesome death of Allen Lee Davis six days before. Provenzano’s eventual execution was carried out using a lethal injection protocol subsequently adopted by the Florida state legislature. Provenzano had spent almost 16 years on death row before being executed at Florida State Prison in Starke on June 21, 2000. He was the 48th murderer executed in Florida since that state's reintroduction of the death penalty in 1976.


The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 26 May 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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