Archive for Lethal injection

Troy Davis – 21 September 2011

Posted in Death penalty with tags , on September 22 by Last Writes

As the day drew to a close on 21 September 2011 in Blighty, so the fate of the latest Georgian prisoner was hanging in the lethal balance. 

Troy Davis, a condemned man, waS waiting to find out if he’d be in line for a lethal injection at 7pm American standard time. A last-minute stay was granted, but good news was short-lived. Davis was executed at 11:08pm Georgian standard time, for a crime he may not have committed.

He was sent down for killing a homeless man and a police officer in the ’80s. But evidence was circumstantial, with no available murder weapon. 

Since the damning trial, seven of the nine who testified originally have since recanted all or part of their accounts, claiming the police coerced them. Indeed, one of the nine witnesses was Sylvester ‘Redd’ Coles, who is widely believed to be the actual perpertrator. 

As the case against Davis deteriorated so there was a short-lived sliver of hope. But Georgia’s damning laws preventing appeals meant Davis rights were curbed, prompting ‘Time’ magazine to speculate if Georgia would ‘kill an innocent man’. Questions like this drew support for his plight worldwide.

Social networks went into overdrive, with Amnesty publishing the Judge’s phone number to apply pressure on Twitter. While British comedian Bill Bailey passed comment by retweeting the Guardian’s ’10 reasons not to execute’. 

But all to no avail. Davis’s death warrant was signed and he was lined up to get a lethal dose of killer narcotics aged just 42.

While for Policeman McPhail’s family, someone had been brought to justice for the murder of their loved one, according to US Guardian reporter, Ed Pilkington, Davis’s poignant last words had a clear message of innocence.  “I was not the one who did it. I did not have a gun. Look deeper to find the truth”. 

25 January 2006 – Marion Dudley

Posted in Lethal injection with tags , , , on January 25 by Old Sparky

Marion Dudley

Don’t be fooled by the name. Marion Butler Dudley was all man when he decided to kill six young men and women, plus an unborn child, in his deadly search for coke.

With his vain attempts to get a cocaine supply thwarted, Dudley turned his gun on a house full of occupants, despite the fact that one person was heavily pregnant.

He shot Jose Tovar in the head, along with his teenage stepson Frank Farias and Faria’s girlfriend, Jessica Quinones, who had just two months to go before she was due to give birth, along with 21-year-old neighbour Audrey Brown.

Two other victims – Jose’s wife, Rachel and a friend Nicholas Cortez – survived to identify Dudley and his two other associates. Dudley was sentenced to be executed by lethal injection on 25 January 2006 in Huntsville, Texas aged 23.

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24 January 1995 – Kermit Smith, Jr

Posted in Lethal injection with tags , , , on January 24 by Old Sparky

Murderous Kermit Smith, Jr. was frogmarched off for his lethal injection on this day in 1995.

Smith was executed in North Carolina for kidnapping, raping, and killing a 20-year-old cheerleader. He remains one of only a few white criminals to have ever been executed for murdering a black victim since 1976.

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24 January 1992 – Ricky Ray Rector

Posted in Lethal injection with tags , , , on January 24 by Old Sparky

Ricky Ray Rector

Hardly the slickest or quickest of exits took place on this day in 1992. It took 50 minutes to find a suitable vein in order to give Ricky Ray Rector his lethal injection.

The American was executed in Arkansas, aged 42 for murdering policeman Robert Martin and a shopper, when he was doing over a corner shop in an armed robbery.

He also managed to shoot himself in the head at the same time, the result of which was tantamount to a frontal lobotomy.

When he recovered he never regained an IQ over 70. So, poignantly, on the night of his execution, Rector apparently saved himself a piece of pecan pie for the next day…

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22 January 1992 – Mark Hopkinson

Posted in Lethal injection with tags , , , , on January 22 by Old Sparky

The alleged mastermind behind a murder and a bombing was put to death on this day in 1992.

The first execution in Wyoming since the ’60s was set aside for Mark Hopkinson. He was convicted of murdering a lawyer and his family after he lost a court case over water rights.

Heated water dispute

Vincent Vehar, Beverly Vehar and John Vehar were blown to bits after a bomb was planted at their home. This was a revenge attack after the Hopkinson family took on another family and a water board over water supplies. They lost on both counts to Vincent Vehar who was the attorney for both sets of opposition.

The plot thickens

Fair means had failed. So Hopkinson turned to foul methods to exact his revenge. And his plot included Jeffrey Green among others. Together they explored explosive ways to get back at the lawyer. But Green got caught with a bomb while speeding in his car.

Hopkinson bailed him out, but that act immediately linked the murderer to Green. So when the Vehar’s house blew up and the net started closing in, the police turned to Green for information. He folded and confessed what he knew. As a result, Hopkinson was apprehended.

Green would have been the prosecution’s star witness, had he lived to see Hopkinson’s trial. But he mysteriously disappeared, apparently on orders from Hopkinson, who was banged up at the time. Green’s carved-up body was found just two days before the Vehar inquiry opened.

With the circumstantial evidence and monies that changed hands following Green’s death, the jury found Hopkinson guilty. He was sentenced to be executed by lethal injection and, so far, the 42-year-old remains the only person to have been subject to the death penalty in Wyoming, since the 1960s.

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22 January 1992 – Joe Angel Cordova

Posted in Lethal injection with tags , , , , on January 22 by Old Sparky

Joe Angel Cordova

While Wyoming was executing its first victim since the ’60s, across state lines down south, the Texans were banging them out.

Joe Angel Cordova became the 43rd death row inmate to be executed in Texas, over the course of a 10-year period.

Cordova was put to death, aged 39, by lethal injection in Huntsville, Texas. He’d been done for robbing and killing a man in 1982.


He was found guilty of bundling 32-year-old Masel Williams out of a phone booth and taking him to a remote wooded area. There Cordova cold bloodedly blasted him with a shotgun, as Williams pleaded for his life.

Texas duly slapped a death sentence on the trigger happy Cordova, in keeping with its reputation for doling out the most death penalties in America.

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19 January 2005 – Donald Beardslee

Posted in Lethal injection with tags , , , on January 19 by Old Sparky

Donald Beardslee

Arnold Schwarzenegger sanctioned his first execution to be carried out on this day in 2005.

Murderer Donald Beardslee’s appeal for clemency on the grounds of diminished responsibility was denied after Governor Schwarzenegger deemed that the criminal was fully aware of his actions. As a result Beardslee’s body was pumped full of lethal drugs just after midnight local time.

He had been found guilty of the 1981 shooting and stabbing of Stacey Benjamin, 19, and Patty Geddling, 23, in a drug-related dispute in San Francisco, having already served seven years for strangling and stabbed Laura Griffin in Missouri.

Beardslee was executed in San Quentin State Prison, California, aged 61.

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