Wednesday, July 16, 2008

June 4, 2008

..he later tried to explain the gunshot residue on his hands by saying that he fed his dog doses of gunpowder...

LAST MEAL: Osborne declined a special last meal request and instead will have the institution’s meal tray, consisting of grilled cheeseburger, oven browned potatoes, baked beans, cole slaw, cookies and a grape beverage.

The skinny: Osborne was executed by lethal injection for a 1990 double murder.

More skinny: The two victim's bodies (a man and a woman) were found in the front of a car in Griffin, Georgia.

Both had been shot, apparently from the back seat of the vehicle. Curtis Osborne was arrested and subsequently told police that he had shot the man, to whom he owed money, because the man had threatened to beat him and was reaching for a weapon.

Osborne was a small time junkie/dealer who sold a motorcycle for a the victim for $400, then pocketed the money. When the man came after the cash, Osborne shot the man and his girlfriend at close range.

He later tried to explain the gunshot residue on his hands by saying that he fed his dog doses of gunpowder, but the authorities weren't impressed. Osborne eventually confessed.

At trial, Curtis Osborne also testified on his own behalf: "There were certain circumstances that took place that night [of the crime], and sometimes things happen out of emotion and not just deliberation. Just things sometimes happen in certain ways. I want to say I’m sorry and I just ask you people to have mercy on me."

The appeals: Osborne's lawyers argued he had an inadequate defense. Osborne's lawyers now say the late Johnny Mostiler, the white public defender in Spalding County at the time, had used a racial slur when he referred to Osborne, an African-American, and said his client should be executed. They also said Mostiler did not ask for money to hire an expert who could have told the jury of Osborne's mental illness and drug use.

Political luminaries including President Carter and the ex-chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court urged the board to commute the sentence. Prosecutors, though, said he should face capital punishment for his crime.

The day of...On his last day, Osborne spent several hours with 14 visitors, five at a time, until midafternoon. Once his visitation was over, Osborne was given his final physical. He returned to a cell just yards from the death chamber about 4. He declined his final meal or to make a recorded last statement or to have a mild sedative offered an hour before the scheduled 7 p.m. execution. Then he waited for his execution.

Last words and such: Executioners struggled for 35 minutes to find a vein. Osborne said nothing while the IVs were inserted.

Once the witnesses were in place, Osborne shook his head "no" when Warden Hilton Hall asked if he had any final words. He nodded "yes," however, when a prayer was offered. The prison chaplain prayed that God would find "favor" with Osborne. The inmate could be seen moving his lips also in prayer as the minister offered his words.

Factoids: Osborne was the...

4th murderer executed in U.S. in 2008
1103rd murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
2nd murderer executed in Georgia in 2008
42nd murderer executed in Georgia since 1976

The victim's relatives waited for news that the execution was over while about 25 protesters were outside. As his hour of death approached, death-penalty opponents gathered at the edge of the property of the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison near Jackson, about a mile from the death chamber. They also gathered in seven other cities. They held signs and sang in protest.

Monday, July 14, 2008

May 27, 2008

...blew all but $170 of the $9,000 they stole on prostitutes, marijuana and clothes....

Last Meal: Green requested a last meal but did not want it disclosed.

The skinny: Green, 31, was executed by injection for killing the owner of a store during a robbery a decade ago.

More skinny: Green entered a convenience store with his 16-year old nephew, David Green. As part of their store operation, the owners regularly cashed checks for employees of several nearby businesses, including a lumber company that paid its employees on Friday of each week. Consequently, they routinely went to a bank on Fridays to obtain sufficient currency to cash payroll checks for the lumber company employees. Green had worked for the lumber company for approximately eight to ten weeks during the preceding spring, and had frequented the grocery store at lunchtime, after work, and on Fridays to cash his payroll checks.

Green shot the owners, a wife and her husband. Green then stood watch while a bank bag with $9,000 in cash and a handgun was taken. Green shot the woman again before he ran out of ammunition and left.

The two fled to Washington. They returned several days later, were arrested and admitted to the crime. Green tOLD them he and his nephew took a bus to northern Virginia and blew all but $170 of the $9,000 they stole on prostitutes, marijuana and clothes.

The woman was shot four times and husband was shot twice. He survived and testified against Green. He still has a bullet in his neck and one in his elbow. Ballistics experts matched bullets and casings found on Green's property with those taken from the dead woman.

David Green was sentenced to 23 years in prison.

The business never reopened.

The day of: DOC spokesman Larry Traylor said that Green met with at least one of his lawyers yesterday but did not meet with any family members. Traylor also said Green did not have a spiritual adviser yesterday.

Last words and such: Green was led into the execution chamber wearing blue jeans, a light blue shirt and slippers. He was strapped onto the gurney by execution team members. A curtain was pulled, blocking the view of witnesses while IVs were inserted in his arms. The curtain was opened again, and the execution appeared to start around 10 p.m.

Asked if he had any last words, Green said, "No, I don't got nothing to say."

Factoids: Green was the...

3rd murderer executed in U.S. in 2008
1102nd murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
1st murderer executed in Virginia in 2008
99th murderer executed in Virginia since 1976

The execution took place about an hour later than scheduled.

Virginia ranks 2nd only to to Texas, which has executed 405 people.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

May 21, 20008

...Chronological Sequence of Events of Execution...

Last Meal: Berry had a final meal request of barbecue pork chops, barbecue pork sausages, buttered toast, salad (heavy on the onion), mashed potatoes and gravy, pecan pie, and any juice. For breakfast he had two biscuits, sausage, rice and coffee.

The skinny: Berry was executed for the beating murder of a 56-year old woman in 1987.

More skinny:The victim was reported missing. A few days later her vehicle was located in Houston, Mississippi. Inspection of the vehicle revealed spattered blood around the driver’s side door. Her body was found nearby. She had been severely beaten.

It was later determined that she died of head injuries from repeated blows.

Berry’s confession provided the details of what transpired. On the evening of November 29, 1987, while driving through Houston in his grandmother’s vehicle, Berry saw the woman near a church. As she was preparing to enter her vehicle, he approached and forced her into his vehicle, ultimately driving to a wooded area out of town. The woman pleaded with Berry, but he beat her with his fists and forearm. Afterwards, he carried her further into the woods and left her.

Berry drove to his grandmother’s house, disposing of a pair of mismatched tennis shoes along the way. At his grandmother’s house, he burned his bloodied clothes and wiped the vehicle he had used of any blood stains with a towel, which he threw into a nearby pond.

Berry's brother called the police after he witnessed suspicious behavior. Berry was arrested at his grandmother’s home and soon confessed to the crime. Police found the mismatched tennis shoes Berry had discarded in a pond, along with bloodied towel.

The day of: Berry's had an execution scheduled for October 2007. It was halted just 19 minutes before he was to die.

Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Epps said he stood in front Berry's cell this afternoon and said, "Inmate Berry do you have any remorse for what you did? "He said he had no remorse and felt that after 21 years he had paid for it," Epps continued. "He understood the question and that was the answer he gave."

Berry finished his last meal about 4:35 p.m. and was given a sedative. He elected not to take his last shower and has not made any phone calls today. However, his mother, brother, sister-in-law and two friends visited him earlier today.

Last words and such: Berry, who wore red pants, a white T-shirt and socks, was strapped to a metal table. When asked if he had any final words, Berry replied, "No comment. It's in God's hands now."

Factoids: Berry was the...

2nd murderer executed in U.S. in 2008
1101st murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
1st murderer executed in Mississippi in 2008
9th murderer executed in Mississippi since 1976

Half a dozen anti-death penalty and one pro-death penalty activist were at Parchman.

Contents of Syringes for Lethal Injection
•Anesthetic - Sodium Pentothal – 2.0 Gm.
•Normal Saline – 10-15 cc.
•Pavulon – 50 mgm per 50 cc.
•Potassium chloride – 50 milequiv. per 50 cc.

Chronological Sequence of Events of Execution
48 Hours Prior to Execution The condemned inmate shall be transferred to a holding cell adjacent to the execution room.
24 Hours Prior to Execution Institution is placed in emergency/lockdown status.
1200 Hours Day of Execution Designated media center at institution opens.
1500 Hours Day of Execution Inmate’s attorney of record and chaplain allowed to visit.
1600 Hours Day of Execution Inmate is served last meal and allowed to shower.
1630 Hours Day of Execution MDOC clergy allowed to visit upon request of inmate.
1730 Hours Day of Execution Witnesses are transported to Unit 17.
1800 Hours Day of Execution Inmate is escorted from holding cell to execution room.
Witnesses are escorted into observation room.
1900 Hours Day of Execution A post execution briefing is conducted with media witnesses.
2030 Hours Day of Execution Designated media center at institution is closed.

Death Row Executions
Since Mississippi joined the Union in 1817, several forms of execution have been used. Hanging was the first form of execution used in Mississippi. The state continued to execute prisoners sentenced to die by hanging until October 11, 1940, when Hilton Fortenberry, convicted of capital murder in Jefferson Davis County, became the first prisoner to be executed in the electric chair. Between 1940 and February 5, 1952, the old oak electric chair was moved from county to county to conduct executions.

During the 12-year span, 75 prisoners were executed for offenses punishable by death. In 1954, the gas chamber was installed at the Mississippi State Penitentiary, in Parchman, Miss. It replaced the electric chair, which today is on display at the Mississippi Law Enforcement Training Academy. Gearald A. Gallego became the first prisoner to be executed by lethal gas on March 3, 1955. During the course of the next 34 years, 35 death row inmates were executed in the gas chamber. Leo Edwards became the last person to be executed in the gas chamber at the Mississippi State Penitentiary on June 21, 1989.

On July 1, 1984, the Mississippi Legislature partially amended lethal gas as the state’s form of execution in § 99-19-51 of the Mississippi Code. The new amendment provided that individuals who committed capital punishment crimes after the effective date of the new law and who were subsequently sentenced to death thereafter would be executed by lethal injection. On March 18, 1998, the Mississippi Legislature amended the manner of execution by removing the provision lethal gas as a form of execution.