10 March 1992 – Robyn Leroy Parks

Ah the irony. ‘I’m still awake’, said Robyn Leroy Parks just as he was given his lethal injection on this day in 1992.

But 11 minutes later, following his death, ‘scary and ugly,’ were words used to describe Parks’ execution by a reporter for ‘Tulsa World’ newspaper. And that’s how the gruesome suffering of Robyn Lee Parks during his death has fuelled the anti-capital punishment argument.

Crime and punishment

To save himself the price of a tank of petrol, Parks had shot the petrol station cashier. But what he didn’t realise was that a credit card slip had already been printed with his number plate on it.

Parks had already chalked up a whole heap of previous crimes during the ‘70s, including armed robbery, so he was sentenced to death for killing Abdullah Ibrahim in 1978.

The state of Oklahoma doled out lethal injections as its chosen method of execution and, basically, Parks was allergic to his own death penalty. A mere two minutes after the drugs had entered his bloodstream, he began reacting violently to the drugs.


The muscles in his jaw, neck, and abdomen went into spasm. Parks began gasping, and even looked like his was choking. He was eventually pronounced painfully dead 11 minutes later, aged 37.

Said ‘Tulsa World’ reporter, Wayne Greene: ‘It was overwhelming, stunning, disturbing – an intrusion into a moment so personal that reporters, taught for years that intrusion is their business, had trouble looking into each others’ eyes after it was over.’

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4 Responses to “10 March 1992 – Robyn Leroy Parks”

  1. richard Says:

    punishment fit the crime. they should have used a cinderblock.

  2. michael nelson Says:

    that was a very cruel thing to do . leroy was my cousin,and i was only in high school when his life was taken. they say every man is equal, but how many black people are equal to the white man. i’m not racist, but it’s alot of sterotypin for us blacks. if tis was a world were everyone looked at others as we all have hte same insides rather than our skin color is different, this might be a better place to live.

    • Sorry leroy was your cousin but he chose to kill someone.Nothing do to with race here brother!
      How many black and white people live poor lives witouth killing another person?
      Might be sad he died this way but even more sad is that he was a natural killer and destroyed other families dreams!

  3. Eduard Says:

    To begin with I am against the death penalty. But there is a personal irony here; I was robbed and almost killed (had a near death experience) this day while working at a petrol-station.

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