Friday, January 09, 2004

January 9, 2004

...peanut M&M"s....

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

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The final meal request of Raymond Rowsey, North Carolina, January 9, 2004.

Pizza, chicken wings, two packages of peanut M&M candy and a Pepsi.

A complete summary will follow shortly.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

January 6, 2004

Better Dying Through Chemistry....

The skinny: Singleton, 44, was executed for the October 1979 stabbing and killing of a grocer.

Legal machinations: Years after his conviction, Singleton was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. He had been taking anti-psychotic medication voluntarily for some time. His attorney, Jeff Rosenzweig, had argued that treatment was no longer in his client’s best interest because it made him eligible for execution.

In the fall of 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of Singleton’s sentence. That action left in place a split Feb. 10, 2003, ruling from the 8th Circuit. In the decision, the court majority said states can administer anti-psychotic drugs to control a prisoner’s behavior, even if doing so renders the prisoner eligible to be executed.

A CNN reporter interviewed Singleton a week before his execution and found him to be expectedly paranoid, ranting, and raving. However, the journalist found the murderer easily able to understand that he was about to be put to death for the murder he committed, and thus by the legal standard, sane.

Final words and such: For his final words, Singleton said "I was going to speak but I wrote it down. I’ll leave it up to the warden." Afterward, a copy of the letter, which was indecipherable spiritual gibberish, was given to the media. It said, in part, "The blind think I’m playing a game. They deny me, refusing me existence. But everybody takes the place of another. As it is written, I will come forth as you go."

In the warden's office at the prison, the victim's son, daughter, nephew, and two granddaughters watched the events on closed-circuit television, but did not appear for the press afterwards. Families of perpetrators, if they show up for the execution, are held at a roadblock a mile from the prison's entrance.

Factoids: A full moon illuminated the ice-cold prison courtyard as volunteer executioners administered final earthly justice for Charles Singleton, 44, also known as Victor Ra Hakim.

Singleton was the state’s longest-serving death-row inmate. This was the seventh execution date for Singleton. In 1980 he came with 7 days of execution, in 1982 he came within 18 days once and within 3 days on another occasion, within 11 days in 1993, two days in 1998, and six days in 2001. He spent just over 23 years on death row.

Inmates on death row in Arkansas total 39, with 16 white, 22 black, and one Hispanic, all males. Arkansas has executed 194 persons in it history: 134 black males, 57 white males, two Indian males, and one white female. While 173 of those were murderers, 20 were rapists and one was both.

Singleton was the....
2nd murderer executed in U.S. in 2004
867th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
1st murderer executed in Arkansas in 2004
26th murderer executed in Arkansas since 1976

January 6, 2004

Ynobe is Ebony spelled backwards....

Last Meal: Three pieces of fried chicken, one pork chop, two pieces of fried fish, strawberry ice cream, a six-pack of Coke and a pack of Newport cigarettes. The request for the cigarettes was denied because of a "no tobacco policy."

The Skinny: Matthews, 27. a serial rapist, was executed for the rape and murder of a woman in 2000 and then burned her body in an attempt to confuse investigators about the crime.

Evidence presented at his trial linked Matthews to at least three other rapes and two attempted rapes.

Matthews volunteered to be executed and asked that others not file appeals on his behalf.

Last Words and such: Matthews did not make a final statement, but mouthed "I love you" several times to a sister and cousin who were watching him through a window.

Factoids: Matthews is the first person executed in Texas this year and the 314th since the state resumed capital punishment in 1982.

His execution was the first of four scheduled this month in Texas, where 24 executions were carried out last year. The total was the highest in the nation but average for the state over the last decade.

Matthews was the....
1st murderer executed in U.S. in 2004
886th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
1st murderer executed in Texas in 2004
314th murderer executed in Texas since 1976

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

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The final meal request of Charles Singleton, Arkansas, January 6, 2004.

Two double-cheese soybean patty sandwiches, fried eggplant, fried green tomatoes, fried sweet potato slices, barbecue baked beans, potato salad, glazed doughnuts, two vanilla milkshakes, two Coca-Colas, cashews and shelled pecans.

A complete summary will follow shortly.

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The final meal request of Ynobe Matthews, Texas, January 6, 2004.

Three pieces of fried chicken, One pork chop, Two pieces of fried fish, Strawberry Ice Cream, a six-pack of Coke and a pack of Newport cigarettes (the request for the cigarettes was denied).

A complete summary will follow shortly.

The kitchen is open.