29 Pro Death Penalty Quotes by Prison Inmates

“There are crimes people commit when they are enraged or drunk – that’s one thing,” Biryukov explains, “But when a person consciously kills or tortures, when he molests young kids, when he trespasses all the moral boundaries – I do not think he should be allowed to live.”

Aleksandr Biryukov is the only one man in Russia who's been sentenced to death and managed to walk free after fifteen years behind bars. Aleksandr Biryukov was on death row, until in 1999 Russia introduced a moratorium on capital punishment. A decade on, the Constitutional Court has extended the freeze, but Biryukov says some criminals SHOULD pay the ultimate price on 24 December 2009. Aleksandr Biryukov was due to be executed in the early 1990s after murdering his army commander who had been making sexual advances on the young conscript for almost two years. Aleksandr tried to ignore the harassment, but less than two months before his conscription ended, he shot and killed his superior. He was sent to death row and spent a few years in maximum security to reconcile himself with his fate – but then Russia introduced a moratorium on capital punishment. Aleksandr’s sentence was subsequently changed to life imprisonment. Aleksandr’s life, however, was not over. His prospects changed dramatically when a documentary film crew came to the penal colony. The shots of Aleksandr hugging his mother after almost 10 years apart moved audiences worldwide and eventually led to his pardon. His sentence was cut to 15 years.

James Dobson: Do you deserve the punishment the state has inflicted upon you?

Ted: That’s a very good question. I don’t want to die; I won’t kid you. I deserve, certainly, the most extreme punishment society has. And I think society deserves to be protected from me and from others like me. That’s for sure.

James Dobson: There is tremendous cynicism about you on the outside, I suppose, for good reason. I’m not sure there’s anything you could say that people would believe, yet you told me (and I have heard this through our mutual friend, John Tanner) that you have accepted the forgiveness of Jesus Christ and are a follower and believer in Him. Do you draw strength from that as you approach these final hours?

Ted: I do. I can’t say that being in the Valley of the Shadow of Death is something I’ve become all that accustomed to, and that I’m strong and nothing’s bothering me. It’s no fun. It gets kind of lonely, yet I have to remind myself that every one of us will go through this someday in one way or another.

Ted Bundy A.K.A Theodore Robert "Ted" Bundy, born Theodore Robert Cowell (November 24, 1946 – January 24, 1989), was an American serial killer active between 1974 and 1978. He escaped twice from county jails before his final apprehension in February 1978. Bundy was executed by electric chair for his last murder by the state of Florida in 1989. After more than a decade of vigorous denials, he eventually confessed to over 30 murders, although the actual total of victims remains unknown. Estimates range from 26 to over 100, the general estimate being 35. Typically, Bundy would bludgeon his victims, then strangle them to death. He also engaged in rape and necrophilia.

CASE: On the evening of July 19, 1976, Gilmore robbed and murdered Max Jensen, a Sinclair gas station employee in Orem, Utah. The next evening, he robbed and murdered Bennie Bushnell, a motel manager in Provo. He murdered these people even though they complied with his demands. As he disposed of the .22 caliber pistol used in both killings, he accidentally shot himself in the hand, leaving a trail of blood from the gun all the way to the service garage where he had left his truck to be repaired shortly before the murder of Bushnell. Michael Simpson witnessed Gilmore hiding the gun in the bushes, seeing the blood and hearing on a police scanner of the shooting at the nearby motel, wrote down Gilmore's license number and called the police. Gilmore's cousin, Brenda, turned him in to police shortly after he called her asking for bandages and painkillers for the injury to his hand. Gilmore gave up without a fight as he was trying to drive out of Provo. He was charged with the murders of Bushnell and Jensen, although the latter case never went to trial, apparently because there were no eyewitnesses.

Pierre and Andrews became notoriously hated prisoners. They were particularly reviled on death row, especially by convicted murderer Gary Gilmore (also facing capital punishment and imprisoned at the same facility), whose final words to his fellow inmates before being taken to face the firing squad were, "I'll see you in Hell, Pierre and Andrews!" Gilmore is reported to have laughed at Pierre and Andrews as he passed by their cells.

Gary Gilmore was executed on January 17, 1977 at 8:07 a.m. by firing squad at Utah State Prison in Draper, Utah. The night before, Gilmore had requested an all-night gathering of friends and family at the prison mess hall. On the evening before his execution, he was served a last meal of steak, potatoes, milk and coffee and a six-pack of beer; he consumed only the milk and coffee. His uncle, Vern Damico, who attended the gathering later claimed to have smuggled in three small, 50-millilitre Jack Daniel's whiskey shot bottles which Gilmore supposedly consumed. He was then taken to an abandoned cannery behind the prison which served as its death house. He was strapped to a chair, with a wall of sandbags placed behind him to absorb the bullets. Five gunmen, local police, stood concealed behind a curtain with five small holes cut for them to place their rifles through. When asked for any last words, Gilmore simply replied, "Let's do it!" The Rev. Thomas Meersman, the Roman Catholic prison chaplain, administered the last rites to Gilmore. After the prison physician cloaked him in a black hood, Gilmore uttered his last words to Father Meersman: "Dominus vobiscum" (Latin, translation: "The Lord be with you.") Meersman replied, "Et cum spiritu tuo ("And with your spirit"

According to his brother Mikal Gilmore's memoir Shot in the Heart, Utah's tradition dictated that a firing squad comprise five men — four of them with live rounds, and one with a blank round, so that each of the shooters could cast doubt to having fired a fatal shot. However, upon inspecting the clothes worn by Gary Gilmore at his execution, Mikal noticed five holes in the shirt — indicating, he wrote, that "the state of Utah, apparently, had taken no chances on the morning that it put my brother to death"

Gilmore had requested that, following his execution, his eyes be used for transplant purposes. Within hours of the execution, two people received his corneas. Most of his other organs were used for transplants as well. His body was sent for an autopsy and cremated later that day. The following day, his ashes were scattered from an airplane over Spanish Fork, Utah.

On October 7, 1976 at 10:13 AM, the jury retired to consider the verdict; by mid-day, they had returned with a guilty verdict. Later that day, the jury unanimously recommended the death penalty, because of special circumstances to the crime.

At the time, Utah had two methods of execution — firing squad or hanging. Gilmore elected to be executed by firing squad, saying, "I'd prefer to be shot." The execution was set for November 15 at 8 AM.

Gilmore received several stays of execution, brought about against his expressed wishes by the efforts of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The last of these occurred just hours before the re-scheduled execution date of January 17. That stay was overturned at 7:30 AM, and the execution allowed to proceed as planned. At a Board of Pardons hearing in November 1976, Gilmore said of the efforts by the ACLU and others to prevent his January 17, 1977, execution:

"They always want to get in on the act. I don't think they have ever really done anything effective in their lives. I would like them all — including that group of reverends and rabbis from Salt Lake City — to butt out. This is my life and this is my death. It's been sanctioned by the courts that I die and I accept that."

Gary Mark Gilmore (December 4, 1940 – January 17, 1977) was an American criminal, and murderer, who gained international notoriety for demanding that his own death sentence be fulfilled following two murders he committed in Utah. He became the first person executed in the United States after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a new series of death penalty statutes in the 1976 decision Gregg v. Georgia (these new statutes avoiding the problems that had led earlier death penalty statutes to be deemed unconstitutional in Furman v. Georgia). Gilmore was executed by firing squad in 1977.

Summary: David Duren was convicted and sentenced to death for the abduction, robbery, and murder of 16 year old of Kathleen Bledsoe in 1983. Bledsoe was parked in a secluded area with 17 year old Charles Leonard, when Duren and Richard Kinder approached the car with a gun. They tied the two together, forced them into the trunk of the car, drove around for a couple of hours, then stopped. Standing approximately seven feet from the tied teenagers, Duren raised his pistol, aimed it, and squeezed the trigger. The gun discharged, striking Kathleen Bedsole in the head. She collapsed, pulling down Leonard with her. Duren lowered the gun and continued firing, striking Leonard in the legs, hips, and chest. Apparently believing both teenagers were dead, Duren walked back to the car and drove away with Kinder. Charles Leonard, still alive, extricated himself from the rope that bound him. Though riddled with three bullet wounds, Leonard managed to make his way to a home nearby and police were called. Kinder and Duren were apprehended shortly thereafter in Huffman, Alabama. Leonard identified Duren as the man who had shot him and testified at trial. Upon subsequent questioning, Duren confessed twice to his participation in the crime. He also led officers to the crime scene and pointed out where he had hidden the murder weapon. Kinder was sentenced to life in prison without parole. While on death row, Duren became a born-again Christian and wrote several articles recounting his mistakes in life. He opposed all last-minute appeals to avoid the electric chair.

"I can drag it out another three years or however long it took them to decide it," Duren told The Birmingham News Wednesday. "But that wouldn't be fair to the victims' family. It wouldn't be fair to my family."

David Ray Duren (born 28 August 1962 and died on 7 January 2000) was an American murderer who was executed in Alabama by the electric chair.

Surprisingly, Fain said in a phone interview that he does support the death penalty, despite serving 18 years in a 7' x 12' cell.

"If they're guilty, yeah. I'm a Christian and I believe in the Bible. Fred disagrees and that's ok. I love him anyway," Fain said. [Thursday 17 November 2011]


Fain said he knows Paul Ezra Rhoades well, and he supports the execution plans.

"I wish I could say he was innocent. I can't. He knows the Lord. I'm fully confident he's going out of this world and into a better one," Fain said.

Fain is living in Idaho and recently married a woman he met at his church.

Charles Fain spent 18 years on Death Row in Idaho - exonerated by DNA evidence. Convicted in 1983 of raping and murdering a 9 year-old girl based on the testimony on a "jailhouse" snitch who claimed Charles Fain confessed, and the testimony of an FBI lab technician that based on microscopic analysis, three hairs found on the victim likely came from Fain. The jury rejected Fain's alibi defense that at the time of the crime was committed in Nampa, Idaho, he was living with his parents more than 300 miles away in Redmond, Oregon. Fain was sentenced to death and his conviction was upheld on appeal. In 2001 DNA analysis of the three hairs determined Fain wasn't the source and he was released after 18 years on death row. 

Curry, who became a Christian in prison, told the Austin American-Statesman in an interview this week that he was ready to accept the death sentence. "I believe I deserve to die," he said. "They say you reap what you sow. When you live a life -- especially out on the streets -- you have a certain mentality that if someone wrongs you, then that person pays with their life."

Final Words: "I pray with the help of God that you will forgive me for the pain I caused your family. I am truly sorry. I wish I could take it back, but I just pray and ask that you forgive me."

Alva Eziel Curry (22 March 1969 to 28 January 2003) was executed by lethal injection in Texas. On 16 October 1991, Gang members Alva Curry and Mark Davis entered an Austin convenience store armed with guns. Curry jumped over the counter and held his gun against the head of 20 year old clerk David Vela. Though Vela attempted to comply with the robbers' instructions, Curry shot him in the temple anyway. Before fleeing the store with the cash register drawer, Curry and Davis shot Vela four more times. The store's video camera recorded the incident and the robbers' distinctive clothing. A tip from a confidential informant led to Curry's arrest three weeks later. On the same day, a search of Curry's home produced clothing that the two felons wore during the robbery, one of the murder weapons, and the convenience store's missing cash register drawer. Also, on that same day, Curry confessed to police his role in the crime. Curry was also serving a life sentence for the October 1991 robbery and murder of another convenience store clerk, Brendon Proske, in much the same fashion. Accomplice Mark Davis received a life sentence.

In a statement while strapped to the death chamber gurney, he thanked his family and friends and expressed his love for them. "And thanks for the friends at the Polunsky Unit that helped me get through this that didn't agree with my decision and still gave me their friendship." In a handwritten statement he prepared about two hours before his death, Martinez acknowledged that "I have caused so much pain to so many people. I especially want to apologize to my victim's family for the life I took. I am only taking full responsibility for what I have done. I am truly sorry and, though some may not believe this, God only knows the truth and for that I know that's all that matters. I am ashamed for what I've done!"

Alexander Rey Martinez (16 June 1976 to 7 June 2005) was executed by lethal injection in Texas for the murder of Helen Joyce Oliveros on 12 August 2001. Only out of prison for 3 weeks following his parole on a seven year Attempted Murder sentence, Martinez called Helen Joyce Oliveros, a prostitute, and made arrangements for her to meet him at his house for $300. Upon arrival, Oliveros and Martinez argued about the amount and whether he was going to pay. When it became clear that Martinez either had no money or was not going to pay her, an angry Oliveros started to leave, but Martinez stuck a knife against her neck and attempted to have sex with her. Oliveros struggled and Martinez slashed her throat, causing her death. He then took $150 from her. Two days later, Oliveros’ nude body was found stuffed inside two garbage bags in a Houston field. Two weeks later, Martinez slashed his stepmother's throat in an unprovoked attack, but she survived. Martinez was arrested later the same day and admitted both slashings. When police searched Martinez's bedroom the next day, they found blood on the bed frame, wall, floor, closet shelves and door. Some of the blood was from Oliveros. Martinez later had the following tattooed on his arm: "RIP, August 12, 2001, $300, Helen Joyce Oliveros. In 2004, Martinez waived all further appeals.

Jones' final statement, written in his own hand: "Praise God! Every day is a day to give the Lord thanks for all He's done! To my Beautiful Family, Friends, and all those whose been in prayer, in thought and support, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. To my Family, you will never truely know how your love, prayers, and forgiveness has sustained me all these years, to all my friends and supporters, especially my Beautiful Angels at St. Louis University, your courage and conviction is inspiring, keep the struggle alive. To my mother who truly has been hurt the most, your love and strength I carry with me always. Take care of my son. I"m finally free and I'm going home to grandmother now. I love you all and God Bless. Donnie."

Donald Jones (25 November 1966 to 24 April 2005) was executed by lethal injection by the State of Missouri for the murder of his grandmother, Dorothy Knuckles on 6 March 1993. Jones went to the home of his grandmother, Dorothy Knuckles, around midnight to get some money to buy crack cocaine. Knuckles let him in and when Jones asked her for money, she refused and started lecturing Jones about his drinking and use of cocaine. Jones went downstairs to the kitchen, picked up a butcher block that contained knives, hid it behind him and went upstairs. His grandmother started lecturing him again, and Jones hit her several times with the butcher block while she screamed. Jones apparently became afraid that the neighbors might hear her screaming, picked up a knife that had fallen out of the butcher block and stabbed her until she stopped screaming and fell back onto her bed. Jones took his grandmother’s car keys, money, and VCR, and he drove off in her car. Jones purchased some drugs, sold the VCR and rented out the car to get money to but drugs. The grandmother’s body was discovered two days later. Upon questioning, Jones admitted the murder, blaming the "monster" of crack cocaine.

Dugan’s conviction was part of a tangled legal saga that saw two other men — Rolando Cruz and Alejandro Hernandez — get convicted and sentenced to death before ultimately being exonerated. The case was one of the many that led then-Gov. George Ryan to put a moratorium on the death penalty in 2000.

Former death row inmate Rolando Cruz also favors keeping the death penalty.

“It’s sad that there’s a death penalty in this society that we exist in right now; unfortunately, we are forced to have that as a last means tool to attempt to decrease the outrageously increasing numbers of murders in the United States,” Cruz said. “The problem we’re having is the implementation.”

Cruz, 47, was twice convicted and sentenced to death for the 1983 rape and murder of 10-year-old Jeanine Nicarico. He was acquitted and later pardoned. Years earlier, though, Brian Dugan, who was already in jail for raping and killing another girl and a woman, admitted to the crime. Dugan plead guilty to the crime in 2009.

He said he and other former death row inmates should be allowed one-on-one audiences with Gov. Quinn to discuss the issue.

“I think the state government in Illinois owes me that opportunity and owes all of us former death row inmates. The government and high courts and joint committees owe us the opportuntity to speak in front of those who made those laws.”

Cruz, who is rearing three young children in Wisconsin where he is completing a degree in psychology, working and playing in a pool league, said he and other former death row inmates have been used as pawns of anti-death penalty groups. He said he and other inmates have received small stipends of about $100 per appearance.

But cases can be made for the punishments, he said, citing last week’s shooting in Tucson as an example.

Rolando Cruz is a Hispanic man from Aurora, Illinois named Rolando Cruz and a co-defendant were tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the 1983 kidnapping, rape, deviant sexual assault and murder of 10-year old Jeanine Nicarico in DuPage County Circuit Court despite the fact that the police had no physical evidence linking them to the crime. Cruz was pardoned after more than 10 years in custody. Cruz, who is rearing three young children in Wisconsin where he is completing a degree in psychology, working and playing in a pool league, said he and other former death row inmates have been used as pawns of anti-death penalty groups. He said he and other inmates have received small stipends of about $100 per appearance.

"I just want to say that I am very sorry for the pain that I have caused. I pray the family of Jerry Haney can find it in their heart one day to forgive the pain I have caused them. I pray they find peace and love in the Lord Jesus Christ as I have, because that's the true peace. I thank the Lord Jesus Christ that I'm fixing to see him face to face."

Jerry Paul Henderson (8 December 1946 to 2 June 2005) was executed by lethal injection in Alabama for the murder of Jerry Haney on 1 January 1984. The Alabama Supreme Court has set a June 2 execution date for Jerry Paul Henderson, convicted in a 1984 murder-for-hire killing in Talladega. A court spokesman announced Tuesday that Henderson had been given a date to be executed by lethal injection at Holman prison near Atmore. Henderson, now 58, was convicted of capital murder in the 1984 shooting death of his sister-in-law's husband, Jerry Haney, 33. According to court records, after a fight with her husband Judy Haney, told her sister, Martha Henderson, and the sister's husband, Jerry Paul Henderson, that she would give them all the money she had if they would make sure Jerry Haney wouldn't bother her anymore. Henderson was accused of shooting Jerry Haney to death on Jan. 1. He and Judy Haney were arrested more than three years later when Martha Henderson agreed to wear a wire and get her husband to talk about the murder. Judy Haney was also convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death, but her sentence was reduced in 1997 to life in prison without parole under an agreement with state prosecutors and the family of the victim. Her brother-in-law remained on death row, where his lengthy appeals have included claims of ineffectiveness of counsel and mitigating circumstances not being brought out at his trial. For the victim's family, it has been a 21-year wait for closure. Haney, a father of two children, had seven sisters and three brothers. "I wish my dad would have lived to see it," said Donald Haney, 57, of Talladega, one of the victim's brothers and a former police officer who had worked on solving the slaying. Another brother, Talladega Police Lt. Billy Haney, 50, said he plans to witness the execution to represent the family, going not out of revenge, but "just a matter of seeing justice come out." "It restores some bit of faith in the judicial system that I've worked for so many years. As far as closure and the loss of my brother, it won't change anything," Billy Haney said. "This is going to be as touching a moment as the trial itself." The officer said his brother was a person with strong moral values who "provided well for his family." UPDATE: At 6:24 p.m. Thursday, the state of Alabama executed Jerry Paul Henderson, 58, formerly of Calhoun, Ga., by means of lethal injection at Holman Prison in Atmore for a crime committed more than two decades ago. According to the Associated Press, Henderson’s last words reflected that he was "very sorry for the pain I’ve caused." Henderson was convicted and sentenced to death for the New Year’s Day 1984 murder of his sister-in-law’s husband, Jerry Haney. Haney’s wife, Judy Haney, paid Henderson $3,000 for the murder. Judy Haney was also convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death, but her sentence was later reduced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Former Talladega County District Attorney Robert Rumsey prosecuted Henderson, and characterized Haney’s murder as "almost perfect." The Hendersons threw a party that New Year’s Eve at their home in Georgia. Excusing himself from his guests, Henderson said he was not feeling well and went to lie down in a back bedroom. He then climbed out his bedroom window and drove to Haney’s residence in Talladega. According to court documents, Henderson "lured Haney to his front porch and shot (him) with a shotgun." After knocking on the door, Henderson told Haney he was bringing his wife and children back from Georgia, but they had run out of gas. When Haney came out of the house, Henderson opened fire. The first shot struck Haney in the chest, but was not fatal. A second shot merely grazed his ear. According to court documents, Haney made it to the back porch before collapsing and begging for his life. "Henderson responded to this plea for mercy by putting the shotgun a few inches from Haney’s face and firing a third time. This shot blew Haney’s lips and teeth off and went into his skull, ending his life," according to documents submitted by the state Attorney General’s Office requesting an execution date. After taking $80 from Haney, Henderson returned home, climbed back into his home through his bedroom window, and rejoined his party guests. It would be more than three years before Haney’s murder was solved and Henderson was arrested. In spite of the long investigation and the alibi created by the party guests, Rumsey said investigators had strong suspicions from the beginning. "After the killing, Henderson stopped at a restaurant in Oxford and called his wife and Judy Haney back in Georgia to let them know he had carried out the plan. He put money in the pay phone, but when the 3 minutes ran out, he didn’t have any more change. So they got the number of the pay phone and called him back." The call showed up in the couple’s phone records. "So we knew that someone had made a long distance call to a pay phone within just a few minutes after the killing," Rumsey said. "Then, later on, we told Henderson we were coming to examine his shotgun to see if we could match it to the shooting. Of course, you can’t really do that with a shotgun, but apparently he didn’t know that." Shortly before investigators arrived in Georgia, Henderson said his shotgun had been stolen from his truck. "But the glass on the truck window was broken out, not in," Rumsey said. "That confirmed our suspicions." The shotgun was later tossed into a river, and has never been recovered. Eventually, Henderson’s wife, Martha, confessed to her role in the plot, and agreed to wear a wire, which led to her husband’s arrest. According to court papers, Henderson confessed shortly after his arrest. Jerry Haney’s brother, Billy Haney, is a lieutenant in the Talladega Police Department. He had just ended his shift on the night his brother was murdered, and was the first officer on the scene. Judy Haney had called him at home and said she was concerned because she could not reach her husband by phone. Billy Haney attended Henderson’s execution, and was not available for comment Thursday night. When Henderson’s execution date was set in May, however, Billy Haney told The Daily Home "it took the justice system an awfully long time to come around, but that’s how it works. I still have every faith and confidence that the system works, but sometimes I wish it could be speeded up a little. I’ve lost both my parents and my sister since Jerry was killed. And Henderson got to live on this earth 21 years longer than my brother did. So there’s still some bitterness there." Billy Haney and one of his surviving brothers attended the execution. "It’s not a revenge venture, it’s just for peace of mind, for closure. I’m there to represent my family, especially my sister and my parents. It’s a ritual to bring us all some peace." One of the victim’s nephews also witnessed the execution, according to the Associated Press. Henderson stood trial in 1989, and was convicted of two counts of capital murder, being a murder for hire and murder during the course of a robbery. Rumsey said he was satisfied that justice was being done. "It is certainly sad, but this was gruesome, almost perfectly planned murder. It was solved thanks to excellent police work, and progressed through the state and federal systems just as it should. There is no issue as to his guilt." Assistant District Attorney Barry Matson said, "My heart goes out to the Haney family. Victims and their families live with the results of violent crimes their whole lives, and the Haneys will continue to live with what Henderson did. It’s not closure, I think that’s an overused word that should be retired. But I hope they do receive at least some sense of justice."

Summary: 25-year-old Angela Cagle worked as a clerk in a Huntsville convenience store. Mason entered the store in the early morning, directing Cagle to a backroom at gunpoint. Accordng to Mason, he was trying to force her to tell him how to turn off the camera when he ordered her to take her clothes off. He then shot her in the face twice with a handgun. Mason claimed the first shot just went off, and the second shot was to keep her from identifying him. He then opened the cash register and fled. A few days after the murder, an unidentified man later told police that Mason committed the crime. The informant described the gun used, told police that Mason was "out of control" and "trying to make a name for himself," and then led authorities to Mason's car. Inside, police found a gun later determined to be the murder weapon. After he was arrested, Mason confessed to committing the murder. The jury voted 10-2 to sentence him to death, a recommendation the trial court accepted.

Derrick Mason apologized to Angela Cagle's mother while strapped to a prison gurney before he was executed Thursday night for the 1994 slaying of Cagle at a Huntsville convenience store.

"I would like to apologize to Mrs. Cagle's mother for the pain I caused her," Mason, 37, said minutes before a lethal dose of drugs began flowing into his veins.

Four Mason family members and a family friend leaned on each other as they witnessed the procedure. Mason told them in his last statement to remember the Bible verse Joshua 1:9.

The verse reads: "Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."

Derrick O'Neal Mason (born 9 August 1974; died on 22 September 2011) was executed by lethal injection in Alabama. He murdered Angela Michele Cagle on 24 March 1994.

Members of the victim's family witnessed the execution from a separate room. Department of Corrections spokesman Larry Traylor would not identify them or say how many family members were there. Patterson's mother, father, sister, brother and two daughters visited him earlier in the day, Traylor said. There were no protesters outside the prison.

Final Words: "I want it to be known that my heart goes out to the Aldridge family and all that I put them through. I pray that they (the families) will all find God as I have found him. I am at peace now and ready to meet my maker. God bless each and every one of you who is here tonight."

James Earl Patterson (31 January 1967 to 14 March 2002) was an American murderer executed by lethal injection in Virginia. Patterson had only met Joyce Aldridge in passing while partying with one of her daughters. Shortly before midnight on October 11, 1987, Patterson, who had been drinking and using cocaine, broke into the Aldridge house to rob her to buy more drugs. In a videotaped confession, he said that when he discovered she had only a handful of coins in her purse, he became enraged and decided to rape her. He then decided to kill her so there would be no witnesses. Using one of Aldridge's kitchen knives, he stabbed her 3 times in the abdomen and left her to die. Joyce was able to make it to the phone to call the police and when she attempted to call her son, Patterson returned and fatally stabbed her 14 more times and fled the scene. Patterson was serving a 25 year sentence for Rape, when the DNA from the 11 year old Aldridge case was submitted for comparison against the inmate database. DNA showed a match with Patterson, who confessed, pled guilty, and asked the judge to give him the death penalty. This "cold hit" DNA match was reported to be the first which resulted in an execution.

"Yes. I would like to address the victim's family. I received your poem and I ma very grateful for your forgiveness. I still want to ask for it anyway. I have Jesus in my heart and I am sorry for any pain I caused you all. Thank you for your forgiveness. I am sorry. Ashlee, Pam -- I am going to miss you all. I love you all. Give everybody my love. Give everybody my love, O.K.? Mother, James, Justin, Corey, Brent, grand-babies and Daddy - I love you Pam. I love you Ashlee, Pammy and Irene. I will see you all on the other side. Couple friends on death row who have helped me; Shy town and Crazy Jay...I love you all and for all your support. Uncle Ray too. I am saved and I am going home, O.K.? You all stay strong. You all stay strong. That is all."

Lonnie Wayne Pursley was executed by lethal injection by the State of Texas on 3 May 2005. On March 29, 1997 Lonnie Pursley and a co-defendant murdered Robert Earl Cook, 47, inside the Deer County subdivision in Livingston, Texas. They took the victim into a wooded area where they beat him to death and robbed him. Pursley had received a five year sentence for burglary charge and was released on parole in 1987. He was returned to prison in 1990 on a ten year sentence for theft and was paroled six months later. Just over one year later he was returned to prison with a twenty year sentence for a burglary charge of which he served just over three years before being paroled again a year and a half before he murdered Robert Cook. From Texas AG's web site: On Good Friday, March 28, 1997, Robert Cook was driving to his home in Livingston, That same day, Lonnie Wayne Pursley, his wife, and their children were visiting family at their home in Shepherd. After getting into an argument with his wife, Pursley left the house on foot. Testimony at trial supported the prosecution’s theory that Cook must have stopped and offered Pursley a ride. After spending some time with Cook in his home, Pursley had Cook drive out into the woods where Pursley savagely beat Cook to death, took his rings and left the body. Pursley was later seen by several witnesses driving Pursley’s bloodstained car. Pursley used Cook’s rings to buy drugs and admitted to several people that he had beaten a person to death. DNA evidence and witnesses linked Pursley to the crime.

"I know it's been 20 years of pain and hurt, but during those 20 years I suffered, too. I cared and I loved, too, for Maxine and Brandy. It began with a syringe in my arm and this day is ending with a needle in my arm. It's come full circle." He thanked his attorneys and singled out four death row inmates to "hang in there and stay strong. Take care, 'cause I'm coming home. Lord, hallelujah. Yes, thank you."

John R. Hicks (July 31, 1956 – November 29, 2005) was a murderer executed by the U.S. state of Ohio. He was executed for the August 3, 1985 murder of his five-year-old stepdaughter, Brandy Green. He was also convicted of the murder of his mother-in-law, Maxine Armstrong, for which he received a life sentence.

The decision has prompted Haugen, 49, to label the governor a coward, saying Mr Kitzhaber didn't have the guts to put him to death.

"I'm going to have to get with some serious legal experts and figure out really if he can do this," Haugen said. "I think there's got to be some constitutional violations. Man, this is definitely cruel and unusual punishment. You don't bring a guy to the table twice and then just stop it." [Monday 28 November 2011]

Gary Haugen was serving a life sentence for fatally bludgeoning his former girlfriend's mother, Mary Archer, when he was sentenced to death for the 2003 killing of fellow inmate David Polin, who had 84 stab wounds and a crushed skull in Oregon.

Summary:  David A. Manning, age 23, was working alone at a service station in Toledo when Clark entered armed with a .32 caliber handgun and demanded money. After handing over $60 to Clark, Manning was shot once in the chest, killing him. Three days later, Clark was arrested on bank robbery charges. A .32 caliber handgun was found on his person. In jail, Clark attempted to hang himself. After his release from the hospital, Clark admitted to the shooting of Manning, but claimed that Manning had come at him with a pipe during the robbery. This was one in a string of robberies in a two-week period committed, according to Clark, to support a drug habit. Clark first robbed one victim at gunpoint (Kim Reno - January 8, 1984), then killed two victims (Donald Harris - January 12, 1984, and David Manning, January 13, 1984) and finally seriously wounded a fourth victim (Robert Roloff - January 16, 1984). Clark has a long criminal history, and was also sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Donald Harris.

In his final statement, Clark said, “I would like to tell them young brothers and sisters also all over the world, do not let drugs ruin your life, ruin your body, and destroy your mind. Today my life is being taken because of drugs. If you live by the sword, you die by the sword.” After a long speech in which he thanked his family and friends, apologized to his victims’ families, and preached against the dangers of drugs, Clark quoted from the Martin Luther King, Jr., “I Have a Dream” speech in declaring himself: “Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty, I am free at last.” Clark made a final statement apologizing to his victims' families and saying "I would like to say to family and friends that I didn't get to talk to, ... that was wondering how I felt, I would like them to know that I asked God to forgive me, that I asked the Lord to save me from my sins. And I asked God to forgive those who are participating in this here today."

Joseph Lewis Clark (15 January 1949 to 2 May 2006) was executed by lethal injection in Ohio for the murder of David A. Manning on 12 January 1984. Summary: David A. Manning, age 23, was working alone at a service station in Toledo when Clark entered armed with a .32 caliber handgun and demanded money. After handing over $60 to Clark, Manning was shot once in the chest, killing him. Three days later, Clark was arrested on bank robbery charges. A .32 caliber handgun was found on his person. In jail, Clark attempted to hang himself. After his release from the hospital, Clark admitted to the shooting of Manning, but claimed that Manning had come at him with a pipe during the robbery. This was one in a string of robberies in a two-week period committed, according to Clark, to support a drug habit. Clark first robbed one victim at gunpoint (Kim Reno - January 8, 1984), then killed two victims (Donald Harris - January 12, 1984, and David Manning, January 13, 1984) and finally seriously wounded a fourth victim (Robert Roloff - January 16, 1984). Clark has a long criminal history, and was also sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Donald Harris.

Dennis Gentry, executed April 16, 1997, for the highly premeditated murder of his friend Jimmy Don Ham. During his final statement, Gentry said, "I’d like to thank the Lord for the past 14 years (on death row) to grow as a man and mature enough to accept what’s happening here tonight. To my family, I’m happy. I’m going home to Jesus." As the lethal drugs began to flow, Gentry cried out, "Sweet Jesus, here I come. Take me home. I’m going that way to see the Lord." We cannot know if Gentry or the fictitious Poncelet or the two real murderers from the DMW book really did repent and receive salvation. But, we do know that St. Aquinas advises us that murderers should not be given the benefit of the doubt. We should err on the side of caution and not give murderers the opportunity to harm again. Indeed, as Dr. W.H. Baker confirms in his On Capital Punishment (Moody Press, 1985), biblical text finds that it is a violation of God’s mandate not to execute premeditated murderers  -  and nowhere does the text contradict this finding.

Dennis Gentry was an American murderer, executed April 16, 1997, for the highly premeditated murder of his friend Jimmy Don Ham.

Then a brown hood was placed over Tucker's head and an electrician checked the long, black cord that ran from the ceiling of the death chamber to the wooden chair. The electrician nodded at the warden and less than a minute later, a breaker fell with a thump. Tucker's body jerked upwards, then the breaker was shut off. More current was sent through Tucker's body for about two minutes before he was pronounced dead at 6:11 p.m.

Tucker was executed for killing 54-year-old Rosa Lee "Dolly" Oakley in her Sumter County home in June 1992. He stole $14 from Oakley, then shot her twice in the head. Tucker said he needed money to help his pregnant wife. He also was sentenced to death for killing 21-year-old Shannon Mellon in Calhoun County six days later. Mellon's hands and legs were bound and she was shot three times in the head. Tucker took her car and $20.

Tucker, 47, is the first inmate in the nation to go to the electric chair in more than a year, and the first to be electrocuted in South Carolina since 1996. The state allows inmates to choose lethal injection, but Tucker's lawyer said he felt if he made a choice, he would be condoning his own death.

Final Words: Tucker's attorney, Teresa Norris of Columbia, read his final statement. "To everyone, I have thought of a million things to say, but they can all be summed up like this. To those I have harmed, my abject apologies and regrets. I am ashamed. To those who must remain and deal with this insane world, my condolences. But be of good cheer. Christ has overcome the world! I know that my redeemer lives. I am leaving this world with a cheerful attitude. Hallelujah."

James Neil Tucker (January 12, 1957 – May 28, 2004) was a convicted murderer executed by the U.S. state of South Carolina by means of the electric chair. The electric chair would not be used again in the United States until July 20, 2006, in the state of Virginia. He had been convicted of the murders of Rosa Lee Dolly Oakley and Shannon Lynn Mellon.

While walking down the street at 1 a.m. in an area where prostitutes gathered, 23 year old Lisa Crider was abducted by Hedrick and Trevor Jones. Reportedly, the two were drinking bourbon and ingesting marijuana and crack cocaine. Crider was robbed, put in Jones' truck and driven around before she was raped and then shot to death at short range with a shotgun near the James River in Appomattox County. Her face no longer recognizable, her head wrapped in duct tape and her hands shackled, Crider was later found in the river. Upon arrest, Hedrick confessed to pulling the trigger. Accomplice Jones was sentenced to life in prison.


Brandon Wayne Hedrick was executed in Virginia's electric chair last night for the 1997 slaying of a 23year-old Lynchburg woman.

Hedrick, 27, was pronounced dead at 9:12 p.m. in the execution chamber at the Greensville Correctional Center, said Larry Traylor, Virginia Department of Corrections spokesman. Asked if he would like to make a last statement, Hedrick said: "I pray for everybody that believes in Jesus Christ in heaven, and I pray for the people that are unsaved that they will accept Christ because they know not what they do and will accept Christ one day. I am ready to go and be free."

Hedrick was the first person electrocuted in the United States in more than two years, and the first in three years in Virginia. Only four of 72 Virginia killers have chosen the chair since Jan. 1, 1995, when they were given the option of injection. The electrocution for the murder of Lisa Crider -- the mother of a 5-year-old boy and slain on Mother's Day -- was performed without complication. Earlier the U.S. Supreme Court turned down Hedrick's bid for a stay and Gov. Timothy M. Kaine said he reviewed a clemency request and found no reason to intervene.

Hedrick may have chosen electrocution, his lawyer said, because of concerns about pain accompanying lethal injection.

Shortly before 9 p.m., Hedrick, his head freshly shaved, was led into the execution chamber. He appeared calm, wearing dark-blue prison pants with the right leg cut off at the knee and a light-blue shirt with the sleeves cut off. He was ushered into the electric chair and a half-dozen execution team members secured him stiffly upright with leather and nylon straps on his limbs and torso before asking if he had any last words.

A metal device holding a sea sponge soaked in brine was then attached to his right calf, and a wide strap with a hole for his nose but covering his eyes and mouth secured his head to the chair. A metal cap holding another brine-soaked sponge was strapped on the top of his head. Power cables were then connected to the head and leg.

A prison official turned a key on the wall activating the system and an execution team member viewing the chair through a one-way window pressed the execution button.

It was about 9:02 p.m. when Hedrick's body jumped up straight, straining against the straps, his fists clenched. A small amount of smoke briefly rose from his leg. His body briefly relaxed between the two 90-second cycles of electricity. Each cycle starts with about 1,800 volts at 7.5 amps for 30 seconds and then 60 seconds of about 240 volts at 1.5 amps. His body jumped and leg smoked at the start of the second cycle. After five minutes, a physician entered, put a stethoscope to Hedrick's chest and pronounced him dead.

The electrocution capped the events of May 11, 1997, when Crider was slain at the end of a nightmarish ordeal. Crider was abducted about 1 a.m. by Hedrick and a friend, Trevor Jones. The two were high on bourbon, marijuana and crack cocaine. Crider was abducted from Jones' apartment, robbed, put in Jones' truck and driven around before she was raped and then shot to death at short range with a shotgun near the James River in Appomattox County. Hedrick confessed to pulling the trigger. Jones, 28, was sentenced to life in prison.

In their appeal and clemency petition, Hedrick's lawyers contended, among other things, that he may have been retarded and that he received incompetent representation from his trial lawyers. Rob Lee, one of Hedrick's lawyers, said he did not believe Hedrick was trying to make a statement by choosing electrocution. "It's not like there was one rational reason," he said. Lee said he believes Hedrick made the choice, at least in part, because he feared pain from lethal injection.


Brandon Wayne Hedrick (February 23, 1979 – July 20, 2006) was a convicted murderer who was executed by electric chair by the U.S. state of Virginia. He was convicted of the 1997 murder of 23 year-old Lisa Crider, who was kidnapped, robbed, raped, and shot in the face. He was the first person electrocuted in Virginia since 2003, when Earl Bramblett was executed for rape and murder.

Even after 11 years of appeals, when convicted murderer Charles Troy Coleman was finally executed in September of 1990, the deterrent effect of the death penalty was clearly seen and reported in the news. On September 10, the day of Coleman’s execution, the Daily Oklahoman quoted fellow condemned murderer Howard Marquez as saying, “I felt the fear. I felt fear for my life.”

Another death row inmate, Robert Grady Johnson, one of two men convicted of cold-bloodedly killing four people in the 1984 Geronimo Bank massacre, said after Coleman’s death by injection, “Several people here are saying, ‘I don’t have a chance. I’m going to be up there (in the death chamber) too.’” Johnson further said, “People here are scared to death.”

Death Row inmates of Charles Troy Coleman (c. 1958 – September 10, 1990) was convicted of the murder of John Seward. He was executed in 1990 by the State of Oklahoma by lethal injection at the age of 32. (At the time, Coleman had become friends with Gregory R. Wilhoit, now a death row exoneree, though they had argued bitterly over the death penalty.) He became the first person to be executed in Oklahoma since 1976 when the death penalty was reinstated.

Final Words: "Today I go home to the Lord. But first I have to say something. I am real sorry. I took a family member's life and I shouldn't have. I hope that you can move on. I'm just sorry. I can't bring anyone back. I would if I could. I won't ask for your forgiveness. God will be my judge." Flores then turned and expressed his love to his friends and relatives, including his sobbing mother and sister. "Be strong and I will see you all, hopefully not soon. Keep your head up."

Andrew Perez Flores (9 August 1972 to 21 September 2004) was executed by lethal injection in Texas. Known as "Showtime" on the street, Flores led a San Antonio street gang that recruited fourth-graders to fight and steal for him. Along with accomplice Joseph Fritz, Flores entered a Stop-N-Go convenience store, and pointed a handgun at store clerk, Juan Moreno, demanding money. After Moreno stuffed the money from the cash drawer into a plastic grocery sack, Flores then demanded the keys to Moreno’s car. Moreno begged Flores not to take his car, but Flores responded by reaching over the counter and shooting Moreno in the head with a handgun as he was kneeling on the floor. Flores and Fritz quickly left the store, but Flores returned moments later, walked behind the counter where Moreno lay bleeding, and searched his pockets for car keys. Flores took the wrong keys and they could not start the car, instead fleeing on foot with $44 cash. A surveillance-camera captured the robbery and murder in its entirety. Both were recognized after the tape was aired on television. Flores confessed to the crime and gave to authorities cash taken in the robbery and the .22-caliber handgun used in the slaying. He later pled guilty to capital murder at trial. After a sentencing hearing where the jury was advised of his ongoing gang activities and prior record, Flores was sentenced to death. Accomplice Fritz was also convicted of capital murder for being the lookout during the robbery and received a life prison term.

After the Supreme Court affirmed his conviction in 2002, Ocha filed a motion with the trial court to drop his appeals and dismiss his attorneys. In May, the Florida Supreme Court ordered the trial court to hold a hearing on his competency. When it ruled June 11 that Ocha was competent, he discharged his state lawyer, Mark Gruber. Gruber said he fought to get Ocha ruled incompetent. "He had demonstrated the kind of behavior that was at time erratic," Gruber said. In a letter to Assistant Attorney General Stephen D. Ake, Ocha asked that his execution be carried out without delays. "Sir I wish for my execution to come swift and unhampered." Hill was scheduled to meet with his client Monday, but said he did not expect to file any motions for Ocha. "He seems more than coherent," Hill said.

Final Words: "I would like to say I apologize to Carol Skjerva, the girl that I murdered, her family and her friends. This is the punishment that I deserve. I'm taking responsibility for my actions. I want everybody to know I'm not a volunteer but this is my responsibility I have to take." In a written statement, Ocha stated, "I unjustly took the life of Carol Skjerva. I have made my peace with my God and go now to face His judgment.”

Glen James Ocha (27 October 1957 to 5 April 2005) was an American murderer executed by lethal injection in Florida, USA for the murder for Carol Skjerva on 5 October 1999. Ocha, drunk and high on Ecstasy, met Carol Skjerva at the Kissimmee bar where he worked. She gave him a ride to his home, where they had consensual intercourse. However, when Skjerva said she would tell her boyfriend about the incident and mocked Ocha’s anatomy, he became angry. Ocha retrieved a rope from his garage with which he attempted to strangle Skjerva three times. In his impaired state, he was too weak to kill her, so he hanged her from a kitchen door and drank a beer as he watched her choke to death. After hiding her body inside a home entertainment system in his garage, Ocha took Skjerva's car and drove to Daytona Beach. When he was arrested for disorderly intoxication, he confessed to the murder. This was his version of events. Ocha pled guilty at his trial and later waived further appeals after his direct appeal failed.