20 July 2006 – Brandon Hedrik

Brandon Hedrik

Brandon Hedrik

Having an IQ of 70 or less can render you unexecutable in the US. So Virginia faced a controversial decision 2006 when it sent Brandon Wayne Hedrik to his death.

He’d been found guilty of the protracted crime of kidnapping, robbing, raping and shooting one woman – a 23-year-old by the name of Lisa Crider.

His victim’s last hours were spent facing the whole gamut of crimes, before she was finally put out of her misery when Hedrik shot her in the face.

Mental ability

Hedrik was guilty that’s for sure, but the sticking point was his penalty. There were doubts as to whether he was equipped to comprehend what execution meant, much less choose his method of dispatch.

You see, the convicted killer had to make the agonising toss-up between the relatively new lethal injection and the state’s established method – the electric chair.

The problem was that he had an IQ of 76, just six above the legal minimum, so what about the margin of error, stated his defence. Yet the argument didn’t wash and he was sent to Virginia’s electric chair on this day on 2006, aged 27.

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