25 June 1985 – Morris Mason

‘When I get back, I’m gonna show him I can play basketball as good as he can’ said Morris Odell Mason about a fellow inmate.

Sadly he was never coming back, for Mason was on his way to the electric chair at the time.

The 31-year-old was being executed in Virginia for rape and murder, but it appeared that he had no idea what execution meant. Indeed he asked jailers what he should wear to a funeral. That funeral was his own according to ‘Human Rights Watch’.

Hand’s up

Ok, so Mason was no saint – he committed a pretty foul murder – a 71-year-old called Margaret Hand, who he’d raped. He’d then callously nailed her hands to a chair and further secured her to the seat using ropes, then set fire to her house. Not content with murder, he followed the crime up the next day with two more sexual assaults, this time on two teenage sisters.

However, his IQ was a mere 65-ish and he apparently had no concept of death. But, on the other hand, he went back to the house he’d burned to remove incriminating papers, so maybe he did understand his actions.

Going down

Either way, he got given death (along with seven life sentences, plus 100 years thrown in on top for good measure).

Mason was finally executed on Virginia’s Old Sparky after pleas to get his death sentence commuted fell on deaf ears.

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