Friday, February 14, 2003

February 13, 2003

Clemency recommendations ain't what they use to be....

Last meal: Fried catfish.

The skinny: Fields killed a woman during a burglary. He was executed despite a recommendation from the state parole board that he be given clemency. After a night of drinking and using cocaine, Fields broke into the victim's house to steal her television and videocassette recorder so he could sell them for money to purchase crack cocaine. But she walked in with a gun and the two scuffled. Fields shot the 77-year-old woman as she tried to flee.

Last words and such: Fields smiled at his sister and his cousin, then told his two attorneys witnessing the execution to "stay strong. You all keep fighting." Fields also asked his cousins to take care of his son and told his sister: "Baby girl, stay strong and hold the family together." "Let's get this out of the way," Fields told prison officials before they injected him. A minister read Biblical scripture and inmates could be heard banging on their cells before Fields was pronounced dead by an attending physician.

Mixed Messages...Fields' attorneys argued during his clemency hearing that he should be spared because he had no advance intention of killing Schem. The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted 3-1 in favor of clemency, with one abstention. Gov. Brad Henry denied clemency.

Factoids: Field's execution was the second in Oklahoma this year and the 57th since the state resumed executions in 1990. Six more Oklahoma death row inmates have execution dates scheduled in the next 60 days.