BARTOW, Florida, USA | The Polk County Sheriff's Office has posted an online petition urging the governor to sign a death warrant for triple murderer Paul Beasley Johnson. In a move that legal professionals have called unusual, odd and unheard of, the sheriff's office launched the petition Wednesday requesting Gov. Charlie Crist sign Johnson's death warrant.

The Sheriff's Office petition, which was posted Wednesday on, has received more than 600 signatures by Saturday morning.

Johnson, 60, has been on Florida's Death Row for more than 20 years and continues to appeal his case. He has an appeal filed June 27, 2008, pending before the Florida Supreme Court.

The Florida Department of Corrections estimates an inmate's average length of stay on Death Row is about 12 years prior to execution.

Johnson was found guilty twice of a bloody rampage that began on the evening of Jan. 8, 1981, that left three people fatally shot, including Polk sheriff's Deputy Theron A. Burnham, 27. Sheriff Grady Judd (above) has said that Theron Burnham, the slain deputy, was his best friend.

Johnson's other victims include William Evans, a 54-year-old Winter Haven cab driver, and Darrell Ray Beasley, a 21-year-old Lakeland man who agreed to give Johnson a ride.

According to news reports, Johnson kidnapped, robbed and killed Evans the night of Jan. 8 and burned the cab. He then drove to Lakeland and in the early morning of Jan. 9 killed and robbed Darrell Ray Beasley.

While fleeing from Beasley's murder, Johnson was stopped by Deputy Burnham. The two men struggled over Burnham's gun and Johnson shot the deputy three times, killing him. Shortly afterward, two other deputies arrived to aid Burnham and Johnson fired at them before fleeing.

Johnson was first sentenced to death in September 1981. But he was granted a new trial because the jury hadn't been sequestered.

He was again convicted and sentenced in April 1988 to death.

Adapted from story by Jason Geary,