Long prosecutor reflects on 34 years spent waiting

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One of the most infamous killers in the history of Tampa is scheduled to be executed next month.

Barring any last minute stays, Robert "Bobby Joe" Long, 65, will be executed at the state prison near Starke Thursday, May 23 at 6 p.m.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed his death warrant Tuesday.

Long killed at least 10 women in the Tampa area in the early 1980s. He was sentenced to death in 1985 and has spent nearly 34 years on Florida's death row.

The state prosecutor who helped convince a 12-member jury to vote unanimously for Long's execution has been waiting for this day to come.

"People like Bobby Joe Long don't deserve to stay alive because of the crimes they committed," said former state prosecutor Mike Benito. "These weren't just murders... He brutally raped all these women before he killed them and he just discarded them on the side of the road."

RELATED: Gov. DeSantis signs death warrant for Tampa serial killer Bobby Joe Long

Long's arrest came after he abducted a young woman, Lisa McVey, who escaped and gave clues to detectives that helped them catch Long. Last year a movie was made about her ordeal, "Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey."

Lisa McVey Noland became a Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputy and has said she wants to witness Long's execution. 

Long's is the first death warrant to be signed by Gov. DeSantis, who was seven years old when Long was sentenced to death.

"I'm sure those women he killed would have liked 30 more years on this planet, but Bobby Joe Long decides they're not going to have those 30 more years. But our system allows him 30 more years. It's a travesty," said Benito.

Rosalie Bolin, a death penalty opponent, says executing Long "Will accomplish nothing. It will be just another killing," she says.

Long is among the longest-serving inmates on Florida's death row. His lawyers have filed numerous appeals to state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States, but currently, no court stands in the way of the scheduled execution next month.