Tuesday, November 15, 2005

November 4, 2005

...These guys are no longer scared to be put to death ....

Last Meal: Wise's final meal request was lobster tail, french fries, cole slaw, banana pudding and milk.

The skinny: Wise was put to death by lethal injection for killing four workers at an Aiken County plant in September 1997 out of revenge for being fired.

More skinny: After 4 years working at the Aiken Lawn Mower Ignition Plant, Wise was fired after a violent confrontation with a supervisor. He returned to the plant weeks later for revenge.

A ecurity guard watched Wise pull up in his car at the 3 p.m. shift change and, armed with a semiautomatic pistol, Wise fired a bullet into the man's chest, yanked out the phone lines in the guard shack and told the guard "I got things to do."

Entering through a side door, witnesses testified Wise went directly to the personnel office and shot a 56-year-old man twice in the back. The man had fired Wise two months earlier. Next up was the tool and dye area, where Wise had hoped to work. He began firing his pistol at everyone around, killing a 30-year-old and a 31-year-old and wounding two others. By then, panicked workers were scrambling to get out.

Wise kept going, finding a 27-year-old woman, who got a quality control job he wanted. He shot her in the back and leg, then put a bullet in her head. After that, Wise's path seemed random. He fired several more shots, but no one else was killed. Investigators found four empty magazines, capable of holding eight bullets each. Wise tried to commit suicide in the plant after the shootings by drinking insecticide, but it only made him sick.

At trial, he refused to let his lawyers call any witnesses to ask the jury to spare his life and has brushed off any attempts to appeal since he was sent to Death Row.

Psychiatrists testified Wise came back to the plant several weeks after he was fired because he was angry and felt he was a victim of racism. Wise was black and his four victims were white.

Last words and such: Wise had no final words.

Factoids: Wise was the...

48th murderer executed in U.S. in 2005
992nd murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
2nd murderer executed in South Carolina in 2005
34th murderer executed in South Carolina since 1976

Wise was the sixth person put to death in South Carolina without using all their appeals since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. All have died by lethal injection instead of the electric chair, and Savitz said that’s not a coincidence. “Lethal injection has changed the dynamic of the whole thing,” Savitz said. “These guys are no longer scared to be put to death.”

Nationwide, 117 of the 989 inmates, or nearly 12 percent, put to death since the death penalty was reinstated had appeals left.

The numbers fluctuate from year to year. In 2004, 10 of the 59 executions were done on volunteers. In 2003, it was just four deaths out of 65.