Execution Volunteers

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Paul Hill may have been the first death row inmate to volunteer for execution because he believed he would become a martyr.

Hill was executed Wednesday for the murder of an abortion doctor and his bodyguard in Pensacola.

He wasn't the first volunteer. Six of the last nine people executed in Florida have dropped their appeals to expedite their deaths. It's a trend that has increased since 1990.

Legal experts say the reason inmates give up the fight to stay alive vary. Some may have abandoned hope. Others may find spending year after year awaiting execution a living hell. Others may be insane. Even the state's switch to lethal injection from the electric chair may be playing a part.

According to the Death Penalty Information Center in Washington, Florida has the second largest number of inmates executed who have dropped their appeals since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.

Texas leads the country with 19. Florida and Virginia have seven each.