Monday, January 19, 2009

January 14, 2009

...Moore shouted, “This is a jack!"...

Last Meal: Moore had no final meal request.

The skinny: Moore, 40, was executed for murdering three people during a night of robberies more than 13 years ago in Fort Worth. Two victims were found dead by gunshots at a ditch across from an elementary school in Fort Worth. Another victim was burned to death in a car fire.

One survivor was found in the car fire. He helped lead authorities to Curtis Moore.

More skinny: At the trial, the survivor testified that he and two of the victims met Curtis Moore and his nephew, Anthony Moore late in the evening. The five men talked about a cocaine deal in Fort Worth, but after they arrived at the deal, Moore shouted, “This is a jack.”

After taking the money, Curtis Moore ordered his nephew to tie the victims’ hands and feet. With one man in the backseat of his car and the other two in the trunk, Curtis Moore drove to one of the victim's home.

There, Curtis and Anthony Moore shot the man and his girlfriend.

After the two shootings, Moore opened the trunk of his car, shot one man poured gasoline on both and set them on fire.

When Moore tried to close the trunk with the two still on fire, the survivor kicked it open and ran into a wooded area nearby.

Moore initially chased him, stepped on his neck and threatened him, but then left him alone, giving him the opportunity to find a hiding spot.

When he was discovered, emergency authorities flew him to a local hospital.

The capture: By the use of Anthony Moore’s street name, Kojak, the police were able to find Curtis and Anthony Moore, and they were arrested on Dec. 12.

While Calvin Moore was sentence to death, Anthony Moore was sentenced to two life terms in prison.

Priors: Before being sentenced to death, Curtis Moore had developed a criminal history which included theft, robbery, weapon possession and drug possession. In 1991, he was sentenced to 15 years jail time but was released soon after.

Close once before: In 2002, Moore made a trip to the Huntsville death house but was returned less than three hours before his scheduled execution when the U.S. Supreme Court agreed his mental retardation claims could be reviewed. Last October, the high court refused his appeal, clearing the way for Wednesday's lethal injection.

Prosecutors have argued that test scores from Curtis Moore’s youth showed him to have an IQ ranging from 68 to 76, and that many experts say the cutoff for mental retardation ranges from 65 to 70.

Last words and such: In a brief, final statement, Moore thanked a woman who administers to the spiritual needs of death row inmates.

"I want to thank you for all the beautiful years of friendship and ministry," Moore told Irene Wilcox as she watched through a window a few feet from him. Moore never acknowledged a man who survived his attacks or relatives of the three who died.

He was pronounced dead at 6:21 p.m., eight minutes after the lethal drugs began flowing.

Factoids: Moore was the...

1st murderer executed in U.S. in 2009
1135th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
1st murderer executed in Texas in 2009
424th murderer executed in Texas since 1976

Moore was the first of six prisoners scheduled to die this month in Texas, the nation's most active death penalty state. Overall, 14 men are scheduled to die in Texas by April 7, a pace that one death penalty opposition group attributes moratorium on executions from October 2007 to April 2008 while the U.S. Supreme Court considered whether lethal injection is unconstitutionally cruel. The court found that it is not.

In the 35 other states with the death penalty, a total of nine people are scheduled to die by April 7.

In 2008, 18 of the 37 executions in the U.S. occurred in Texas, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.