Friday, December 05, 2003

December 5. 2003

Last Meal: pizza and lasagna, both made to follow Muslim dietary rules, and a Pepsi.

The skinny: Lyons, 31, was executed for a 1993 shooting murder during an attempted robbery at a grocery store.

Legal Machinations: Defense lawyers had said Lyons shouldn't be executed because he had a personality disorder and poor legal representation during his case.

Governor choses "cowardice" and "brutality": The Rev. Jesse Jackson sent Easley a letter urging clemency for Lyons.

"I have the deepest sympathy for the victims of violent crime and their families and loved ones left behind - but the death penalty is not the best way to acknowledge their grief," the letter said.

"By granting clemency in this case you would be setting an example of courage over cowardice, of humanity over brutality."

Easley said Thursday night he found no reason to reduce the sentence of Robbie James Lyons to life in prison, eliminating the prisoner's final chance to avoid the death penalty.

Last words and such: "It is from Allah that I come and it is to Allah that I return," Lyons said in a last statement. "If my death brings another person happiness, then I'm happy for them."

Factoids: The execution was the seventh by the state this year, the most since 1949.

Lyons was the...

65th murderer executed in U.S. in 2003
885th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
7th murderer executed in North Carolina in 2003
30th murderer executed in North Carolina since 1976