3 February 1998 – Karla Faye Tucker

Karla Faye Tucker

Even finding God suddenly on death row couldn’t save Karla Faye Tucker as she waited her turn to be executed in 1998.


Karla Faye Tucker was sentenced to death for hacking two people to death in a drug-induced robbery. Miraculously while awaiting her fate, Tucker became a born-again Christian. She applied for reprieve in light of her new-found devotion and President-to-be George W. Bush, who was then the Governor of Texas, held her fate in his grip.


But the facts remain these. A witness saw her trying to extract a pickaxe embedded in Jerry Dean literally by standing on her victim to get enough leverage to pull out the blade. She then turned the axe on him again in full view of the bystander.

Tucker and her boyfriend then focused their attention on Deborah Thornton. The victim ended her life by pleading with them to put her out of her painful misery, which they did by impaling her neck with the axe.

Big guns

Her pleas for clemency were supported by heavyweights such as the Pope and Bianca Jagger, as well as having the full focus of media attention. But this is George W Bush we’re talking about.

Not one to be swayed by or even care about public opinion, Bush denied her application of course. So 38-year-old Tucker became the first woman to be executed in Texas since the 19th-century Civil War and she put to death by lethal injection.

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2 Responses to “3 February 1998 – Karla Faye Tucker”

  1. You can’t really blame her… Being afflicted with such a long face would entice even the most staunch Christian to slash up a victim with a hatchett.

    Great work Brennan…



    Pay close attention. Do you revile all governors who refuse to grant clemency to murderers, or just George Bush? Whether or not I am an admirer or Bush is irrelevant; if you do not denigrate other governors for enforcing a judicial ruling, then you’re a hypocrite. Karla Faye Tucker committed a heinous crime and the judge and jury condemned her to death. Do you believe that killing an infant in pregancy whose only crime was being inconvenient, but executing a murderer is “wrong”? If you have a problem with Tucker’s execution, why not take it up with the Texas Supreme Court – or is this yet another immature “hate Bush” message?

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