NORTH CAROLINA LAST MEAL
January 9, 2004
Last Meal: Rowsey had his last meal of pizza, chicken wings, two packages of peanut M&M candy and a Pepsi.
The skinny: Rowsey, 32, was executed for the 1992 pistol slaying of a convenience store clerk that prosecutors said was carried out for the thrill of killing.
Rowsey was pronounced dead at 2:23 a.m. after a series of appeals that brought a stay which was overturned hours before the execution. At issue in those appeals was whether the state's lethal injection execution method was constitutionally banned cruel and unusual punishment.
The inmate also lost a bid for clemency when Gov. Mike Easley refused to commute the death sentence to life in prison without parole. Lawyers told the governor that a juror hadn't meant to vote for the death penalty, but prosecutors said the issue already had been rejected by the courts.
Last words and such: Rowsey made no last statement, but his family told reporters afterward that he was innocent.
Rowsey's wife, whom he married while in prison, and his mother sobbed as they watched the execution.
Rowsey defense lawyer James Payne said his client "asked us to tell you that he died in peace with no hatred in his heart, and nothing but love for his brother."
The brother accompanied Rowsey to the store the night of the killing and testified against his brother at Rowsey's trial in a plea bargain.
Factoids: It was the first execution of 2004 in North Carolina, following a year in which seven inmates were put to death.
Rowsey was the....
3nd murderer executed in U.S. in 2004
868th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
1st murderer executed in North Carolina in 2004
31st murderer executed in North Carolina since 1976