Tuesday, August 12, 2008

June 11, 2008

...he was not arrested until five years later, after a fingerprint search returned his name as a possible match...

Last Meal: Chamberlain, 37, had a final meal request of a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, cheese, lunch meat, deviled eggs, six fried cheese-stuffed jalapenos, a chef salad with ranch dressing, onion rings, french fries, a cheeseburger, two fried chicken breasts, barbecue pork rolls, an omelet, milk and orange juice.

The skinny: Chamberlain was executed for raping and fatally shooting a 30-year-old single mother in her Dallas apartment.

More skinny: Chamberlain was a resident of the same apartment complex as the victim. He went to her apartment under the pretense of borrowing sugar. Chamberlain left the apartment and returned minutes later with duct tape and a rifle.

Chamberlain entered the apartment, displayed the weapon to the victim, and forced the victim into a bedroom. He then taped her hands and feet, and sexually assaulted her. He took the victim into the bathroom and shot her one time in the head with a .30 caliber rifle, then left.

Her son found her body.

Chamberlain walked his dogs after the murder.

Police questioned Chamberlain the night of the murder, but he was not arrested until five years later, after a fingerprint search returned his name as a possible match. Chamberlain's prints had been entered into a database after he went on probation for an attempted robbery and abduction in Houston.

Police arrested Chamberlain, who gave investigators a written confession. He also directed them to a weapon of the same type used to kill the woman, and provided DNA samples that matched the profile of samples taken from the victim's body. A Dallas County jury deliberated just seven minutes before convicting Chamberlain of capital murder for the killing and took 2 1/2 hours to decide he should be put to death.

Last words and such: Smiling broadly as he looked at the victim's relatives watching him through a window, he told them he loved them, repeatedly said he was sorry and thanked them for coming to watch him die. "We are here to honor the life (of the victim), a woman I didn't even know, and to celebrate my death," he said in the seconds before he was injected with lethal drugs. "I wish I could die more than once to tell you how sorry I am."

As the drugs took effect, he urged them to "not hate anybody because...." He slipped into unconsciousness before completing the thought. He was pronounced dead nine minutes later.

The victim's mother speaks: "It has been 11 years since his conviction. He has been housed, clothed, given blankets, pillows. at some point TV, mail, sunlight, clean clothes, food and drink, appeal lawyers all paid by our tax dollars... "The victim, our daughter and mother, has been in a sealed concrete vault and casket 6 feet under dirt for the past 17 years, since the crime was committed. Paid for by her family."

Factoids: Chamberlain was the...

6th murderer executed in U.S. in 2008
1105th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
1st murderer executed in Texas in 2008
406th murderer executed in Texas since 1976

At least another 12 inmates have execution dates in the coming months in Texas, where 26 prisoners were executed last year, more than any other state.

While Chamberlain’s half-sister and five friends witnessed his execution from behind another glass window, his mother stood in front of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Walls Unit protesting the death penalty. Mu’ina Arthur of Las Vegas, N.M., chose not to see her son executed a short distance away. She was among 20 protesters waving signs in opposition of the death penalty or voicing their viewpoint verbally.

“This country is a fascist country,” Arthur said, using a megaphone. “This is not a compassionate America. We have to stand on God’s law. Jesus was a pacifist. Jesus was a pacifist.” “How many men has the state of Texas murdered who were innocent?” she cried out. “Many. They’re dead, they’re gone, they’re martyrs.” “Let all the countries around the world put the pressure on The United States of America,” Arthur said with Ron Carlson standing next to her. “The leader of killing. The leader of mayhem. We’re talking about human beings, we’re talking about my son. “He’s a jewel; he’s a teddy bear; and yeah, he messed up. He didn’t have a criminal record, and he’s not a bad man. He’s a good man. He’s a jewel compared to most. Compare him to Bush. God, oh Jesus save us. “God is truth. My son is a believer, you’re gonna, hey ... he ain’t dead yet.”

June 6, 2006

...he had a bullet hole through the roof of his mouth and an exit wound in the top of his skull...

Last Meal: Hall had a final meal request of meatloaf, corn on the cob, garlic bread, a beef burrito, a Mexican pizza, a taco, cake, ice cream, garden salad with tomatoes and ranch dressing, and Pepsi.

The skinny:Hall was executed for killing three people in a Department of Social Services office in 1996.

More skinny: Hill went on the shooting spree after his wife asked for a divorce and a social worker accused him of molesting a child. He lost custody of his children and blamed state workers.

Hill walked into the social services office and shot to death his family's case worker and two other employees after losing custody of his children.

At the time, Hill was married and had three children: a three-year-old daughter who was a quadriplegic from a traffic accident, and twin two-year-old boys. After their daughter's ordeal, Hill was sent into a world of depression, seizures and panic attacks. DSS had become involved with the family because of concern about the parents’ abuse of prescription drugs. The children were eventually removed from the home.

Hill overdosed twice on antidepressants and muscle relaxers in the spring of 1996. After social workers said they wanted him out of the house, Hill barricaded himself inside with a shotgun, later spent several days in a mental hospital and was ordered by the state to stay away from his family.

Hill was found a day later in a wooded area, suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He had a bullet hole through the roof of his mouth and an exit wound in the top of his skull.

Although he was seriously injured, Hill was able to speak. After he was taken to the hospital, he was given Miranda warnings. Hill admitted to the shootings. He said he first shot the man in the restroom because he had seen him. He also shot his caseworker. He shot the last, a woman, “because she was black.”

Last words and such: Hill, clad in a dark green prison uniform and strapped to a gurney, briefly turned his head toward the witnesses, then trained his eyes on the ceiling of the brick-walled chamber.

Hill’s lawyer read a statement from Hill that said he was sorry for the killings and hoped his victims’ relatives would find peace. “"I sincerely apologize to the families. I am very sorry for the pain that my actions caused to them. Hopefully, my decision to have this sentence carried out without delay will help you understand the sincerity of my apology and will provide you with some closure. To those of you who have expressed forgiveness to me, I thank you. For those of you who have been unable or unwilling to forgive me, I pray that today will provide you with the peace you deserve.”

When the attorney finished speaking, a tube that ran from Hill’s outstretched left arm to the wall behind his head began to move and liquid could be seen flowing through it. Two minutes later, Hill’s breathing became labored, and he then took one large gasp, his chest heaving upward. Hill’s mouth then dropped open, and, within a minute, color drained from his face. Eleven minutes later, Hill was pronounced dead.

Relatives of the victims sat in the front row of the viewing area outside the death chamber and showed no visible reaction to the execution. They declined to comment. Representatives of law enforcement and the solicitor's office were also present.

Factoids: Hall was the...

5th murderer executed in U.S. in 2008
1104th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
1st murderer executed in South Carolina in 2008
38th murderer executed in South Carolina since 1976

Hill was the 279th person put to death in South Carolina history.

A handful of death penalty protesters held a vigil outside the prison where the death chamber is housed.