Monday, December 12, 2005

December 2, 2005

...Humphries would have preferred to have been the 1,000th person executed...

Last Meal: Humphries requested a McDonald's hamburger, french fries, broccoli and cheese, oat cereal, and a Dr. Pepper.

The skinny: Humphries was put to death for the1994 murder of a store clerk.

More skinny: Humphries and accomplice Eddie Blackwell drank beer together for most of the day, then entered a Max-Saver convenience store with the intention of robbing the store. The owner of the store, asked Humphries whether he wanted anything. Humphries flashed a gun he had stolen the night before and replied he wanted money. There was some evidence to suggest the man then reached under the counter to get a gun. When he reached under the counter, Humphries fired a shot in the man's direction and fled from the store. The bullet fired by Humphries struck the owner in the head, killing him. Blackwell slumped to the ground in the store and was arrested. Humphies was apprehended later that day and immediately confessed. The crime was captured on videotape.

Blackwell was also convicted of murder, and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Leading up to: Humphries' lawyer said that he would have preferred to have been the 1,000th person executed nationwide since the death penalty was reinstated, so that his death would be a milestone. "In his view, No. 1,000 is sort of a landmark," the lawyer said.

Humphries requested permission to watch "The Wizard of Oz" and was given a TV and VCR, his lawyer brought him the videotape Friday morning. Officials said he played the tape, though he spent much of the time talking to family and friends on the phone and eating a last meal including a McDonald's hamburger and a Dr. Pepper.

Last words and such: Before the curtains opened at 6:03 p.m., the victim's widow looked toward other family members and whispered "I can't do it," and walked out of the viewing area without witnessing her husband's killer be put to death.

Then Humphries' attorney read a one-and-a-half-page handwritten statement from the death chamber before the execution in which Humphries apologized for the killing and used Bible verses to criticize the death penalty. "I hope that my execution brings the Smith family some peace," he wrote. "But now I want to say something to everyone who supports this or any execution. We are all sinners, so what gives you the right as a sinner to take away a gift that God gave?"

At the end of the statement, Humphries looked toward the victim's sisters and mouthed "I'm sorry." One sister nodded in response. It appeared that a tear rolled down Humphries' cheek after the exchange.

Factoids: Humphries was the...

57th murderer executed in U.S. in 2005
1001st murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
3rd murderer executed in South Carolina in 2005
35th murderer executed in South Carolina since 1976