14 March 1984 – James David Autry
James Autry nearly managed to avoid his lethal injection twice in the space of six months.
He was first strapped up and on the brink of being jabbed full of the toxic concoction in October 1983, when the state of Texas ordered a stay of execution.
Then, six months later, he was strapped up again and this time his catheter became blocked when the first chemical reacted with the second in the tubes – a solid formed which prevented the efficiency of the flow of toxins into his bloodstream.
The needles may not even have been inserted into his veins properly, so the lethal fluids may even have seeped into the surrounding muscles and added to his suffering.
If things go to plan the first chemical is meant to knock you out and the second is meant to relax the muscles, but neither drug could enter his veins quickly enough, so he remained conscious virtually throughout. As a result, Autry was fully aware of his execution and complained of the pain as the third drug kicked in, which stopped the heart and caused a cardiac arrest.
Autry has been convicted of a double murder. The 29-year-old had shot a cashier between the eyes, then bumped off one of the witnesses in the same way and left the other brain damaged.