A Florida child abuser, Dobbert was arrested in 1972 for beating and choking his nine-year-old daughter to death. Subsequent evidence also linked him with the murder of his seven-year-old son and the torture of two other children, ages five and eleven. A jury convicted Dobbert on all counts, but recommended life imprisonment instead of death, jurors voicing uncertainty over Dobbert's alleged intent to kill the children. The presiding judge used his option to override the jury's recommendation, and Dobbert was sentenced to die. His appeals exhausted, the child killer was executed in the electric chair on September 7, 1984. Governor Bob Graham told the press, "Ernest Dobbert has been executed because of his brutal actions toward his own children. I hope that this indication of the seriousness of child abuse will be an example of the value which the people of Florida place upon the lives of infants and young people in our state."