Saturday, September 13, 2003

Dateline: Japan

Japan gets on the board

The highlights:

Japan executed its first citizen in a year yesterday, the justice ministry said. The move, carried out when parliament was not in session, drew criticism from the human rights group Amnesty International.

In Japan, inmates and their immediate relatives are not informed of the execution date until the day it takes place. The identity of the convict is also not released.

Japanese media said yesterday the person executed was Shinji Mukai, convicted in 1985 of murdering three people.

September 12, 2003

"It's a good day to die."

Last Meal: Hunt's last meal: a medium Domino's pizza with pepperoni, hamburger, Canadian bacon, sausage, onions, mushrooms and green peppers, and a 20-ounce Coke.

The skinny: Hunt was sentenced to death for two 1984 slayings, one the contract killing of a man whose wife wanted him dead and the other of a police informant.

Legal Machinations: Hunt's lawyers had challenged the state's mixture of drugs but the state Supreme Court rejected the challenge and overturned a lower court stay.

Hunt's lawyers also argued that several things raised serious questions about Hunt's guilt: an affidavit purporting to clear Hunt of the crime, Hunt's having passed recent lie-detector tests, the lack of physical evidence linking him to the murders and the destruction of case files by the Lumberton Police Department and the State Bureau of Investigation.

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected Hunt's appeals and Gov. Mike Easley refused to change the sentence to life in prison.

Killer Cocktail Info: At issue in Hunt's stay this week was the trio of drugs the state uses in all its executions: one to put the inmate to sleep, a second to stop breathing and a third to stop the heart.

The state uses: thiopental sodium, a sedative under the brand name Pentothal, which puts the inmate to sleep; and pancuronium bromide, a muscle relaxant with the brand name Pavulon, which stops breathing.

The third drug, potassium chloride, stops the heart.

Last Words and such: "It's a good day to die," was the final statement of Hunt.

As he was wheeled on a gurney into the execution chamber, Hunt looked through a thick glass window at his son and another brother, among the 15 witnesses watching the execution. The relatives wore yellow head bands like those Hunt usually wears and Hunt winked at them. Yellow is Henry Lee Hunt's spiritual color.

Factoids: Hunt, a Lumbee Indian, was the first American Indian to be executed by the state of North Carolina since capital punishment resumed in 1977. A total of 25 have been executed in that period and 201 inmates remain on death row.

There were more than 50 death penalty opponents outside the prison.
Many took part in an American Indian ritual in front of the prison.

J.R. Ghosthorse of Asheville, who is Lakota and Apache, burned sage and attached several scarves to a branch in a creche he had set up by the curb. With song and a drumbeat, he led the crowd in a ceremony, called a tate topa - the ceremony of the four winds - for Hunt. A woman waved an eagle's wing.

Four other people were sentenced to prison for their roles in the killings. All but one has since died.

Hunt was the....
55th murderer executed in U.S. in 2003
875th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
2nd murderer executed in North Carolina in 2003
25th murderer executed in North Carolina since 1976

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Ciro C. of Toulouse, France

Antipasti with one slice of Parma ham, canned-artichokes (Italian style) and assorted pickles to wake up my not-too-dead stomach. A small bowl of minestrone soup, a small serving of baby-lettuce salad with chopped nuts, sliced palm-tree hearts, roquefort cheese, balsamic vinegar and a fresh soft bun with butter would do the warm-up, following by an entrée of 2 lb lean pork-loin roasted to perfection with onions and four medium skim-less potatoes in a real wood-oven (it all must be, literally, swimming in Portuguese extra-virgin olive oil), no greenies and boring carrots please, but instead; a side-order of very hot steamed garlic rice (Brazilian style). Finally, to keep the stylish last meal, some creamy camembert cheese with a couple of crackers would precede the desert of frozen-vanilla & champagne biscuit cake, with half-melted Toblerone chocolate on the top. 4 cans of Classic Coke and 2 expressos.


Tyler H. of parts unknown..

Note: all items must be brought to me on silver plates, with silverware, in this order: Loaf of freshly baked honey-wheat bread, Romaine lettuce salad with grape tomatos and Ceasar dressing, Mashed Potatos with lots of butter, salt, pepper, Bowl of Corn with butter, salt, pepper (Corn and potatos may be mixed), 16oz Filet Mignon (Rare, bloody) Blackened, wrapped in Bacon, One angry as shit before he was boiled Maine Lobster, Glass of ice water
Shirley Temple with extra Grenadine served in large martini glass, Pint of Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream (new spoon at this point, must be wooden), A collective blow job from the Ravens Cheerleading Squad (to be given while eating Ben and Jerry's), Hash Brownies made from the finest emerald nuggets (after blow job), Opiate derived painkillers (at least 5 Percocets, preferably 10)


Hannah from Los Angeles, CA

a dozen krispy kreme donuts glazed, one slice of carrot cake, a pint of haagen daz vanilla ice cream, hershey's chocolate, slice of cheesecake, pad thai, chicken curry, naan with raita, steak fajitas with guacamole, bruschetta with crusty sourdough bread, lemon merengue pie, brownies, milk


diggs from parts unknown

who the hell wants to eat??? how about a hooker?


First a stay, now a go...

RALEIGH, N.C. - The North Carolina Supreme Court on Thursday allowed the execution of a double murderer to go forward, rejecting a defense argument that the state uses an illegal drug for lethal injections.

A judge delayed the execution of Henry Lee Hunt earlier this week, ruling that the court should have time to review the type of drugs used in executions.

Hunt's lawyers argued that state law requires the use of two types of drugs - a fast-acting barbiturate and a paralytic agent. Lawyer Steven Holley said the state illegally added potassium chloride, which stops the heart, to the mixture.

But the court denied the bid, and Hunt's execution is scheduled for early Friday. His appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court were later rejected.


Dateline: North Carolina...

The State Bureau of Investigation failed to get a good DNA reading from a cigarette butt that a defense attorney said could help clear death-row inmate Henry Lee Hunt , whose execution is scheduled early Friday.

A prosecutor and Hunt's attorney said Thursday that the SBI's crime lab tested the Kool cigarette butt for saliva DNA at the request of Hunt's attorneys and with the agreement of state Justice Department officials. Investigators found the stub near the body of one of two people Hunt was convicted of murdering near Lumberton in 1984. It had not been tested before.

Hunt's lead attorney , Stuart Meiklejohn of New York, said Thursday that the SBI told him it had obtained "no conclusive DNA profile" from the cigarette butt. Robeson County District Attorney Johnson Britt said the SBI told him the same thing.

Meiklejohn said he wants a private laboratory to analyze the SBI test results or run a new test. He said he will ask a Lumberton judge to delay Hunt's execution if necessary to accommodate additional testing. Britt said he would oppose that.

Smelly corpse, smelly corpse....

The case....

New execution date set for N.C. death row inmate

RALEIGH, N.C. - A death row inmate whose execution was delayed while the state Supreme Court considered another case with similar legal issues is now scheduled to be executed Oct. 3.

Edward Hartman, 38, is scheduled to be executed at 2 a.m. that day for the robbery and killing of an elderly man in June 1993 in Northampton County. He also received a 40-year sentence for armed robbery.

....Hartman confessed to murder and robbery of Herman Smith Jr., telling authorities he had consumed 16 cans of beer before firing a pistol at close range into Smith's head while the victim watched television in a recliner. Court records show Hartman told a friend that Smith was wealthy and carried thousands of dollars in his pocket.

Hartman, who had been living in Smith's home, took the man's car and left the body in the chair. Five days later, after taking several trips in the car, Hartman said he was bothered by the smell and dragged Smith's body to a stable and buried it.

While using Smith's car, Hartman wrote checks on the dead man's bank account.

An eagle-eyed reader from Florida noticed that our last meal for Paul Hill was incomplete. The full meal was....

steak, broccoli with hollandaise sauce, salad, orange sherbet and iced tea.

The record has been changed to reflect this.

The same reader noted the irony that Hill requested broccoli with hollandaise sauce. The first President Bush hated broccoli. His son Jeb signed Hill's death warrant.

A thousand thanks to our Florida friend and to all the readers who help us as we attempted to accurately chroncile the culinary cravings of the condemned.

September 10, 2003

a rocky road....

Last Meal: For his final meal, Hayes requested two bacon cheeseburgers, french fries, onion rings, cole slaw, fried okra, a pint of Rocky Road ice cream, a quart of milk and two diet Cokes.

The skinny: Hayes was executed by lethal injection for killing his wife. That same night, he admitted to also killing an 18-year-old convenience store clerk and driving off with her car.

Hayes was convicted of shooting his wife seven times in the head on July 15, 1999, the night after she told him she'd been having an affair. Twenty minutes later he shot the college-bound clerk.

Hayes was captured a few hours after the incident and shot by police in Polk County.

No Legal Machinations: Hayes expedited his death by dropping his appeals. He said he is eager to atone for his crime. "I feel by carrying (the appeals) on I'm lying about the fact of what I did," said Hayes.

Last words and such: With a shaky voice, he apologized to the victims' family members.

"I would like for Rosalyn's family and loved ones and my wife Mary's family to know that I am genuinely sorry for what I did. I would like for you to reach down in your hearts and forgive me. There is no excuse for what I did," he said while strapped to the gurney.

Hayes also thanked loved ones for their support.

"As for my friends and family here, thanks for sticking with me and know that I love you and I will take a part of you with me," he said. "I would like to thank one of the arresting officers that I would have killed if I could have. He gave me CPR, saved my life and gave me a chance to get my life right."

Factoids: Hayes, who once served as Sunday school director for a Conroe church, did not have much of a criminal record prior to the night of violence.

It is unusual for a condemned inmate to drop his or her appeals and volunteer for execution. Of the 309 people executed in Texas since 1976, only 19 have waived their appeals and voluntarily gone to their deaths. Nationally, 99 out of the 873 people executed since 1976 volunteered.

Hayes said he used his time on death row to make peace with God and he is prepared to die. "I actually get excited when I think about seeing friends and loved ones ... in heaven," he said. "I have no doubt where I am going."

Texas inmates average nearly 10 years in prison before their sentence is carried out.

Hayes was the....

54th murderer executed in U.S. in 2003
874th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
21st murderer executed in Texas in 2003
310th murderer executed in Texas since 1976