Wednesday, December 11, 2002

December 9, 2002

Satan 1, Jesus Christ coming to bat...

Plus, Florida plays cheap with the grub...

LAST MEAL: Bottoson ate a regular prison meal that included beef patties, cheese and bread. He did not get a special meal because was given one on two other occasions when his executions were postponed.

The Skinny: Linroy Bottoson, an inmate who believed he was locked in a battle between Satan and Jesus Christ, was executed Monday for the kidnapping, robbery and slaying of a postmistress 23 years ago. Bottoson pronounced dead at 5:12 p.m. for the Oct. 26, 1979, murder of Catherine Alexander, who was robbed, held captive for 83 hours, stabbed 16 times and then fatally crushed by a car. Bottoson had three reprieves before one took.

Last Words and such: When asked if he had any last words, Bottoson said, "No sir, no." He accepted Valium before the execution, which was viewed by the victim's son and other family members.

RETARDED IN FLORIDA?: Psychiatrists who found that Bottoson understood that he was about to die and the reasons for his execution, two requirements under Florida law.

Dr. Wade Myers, a state psychologist, testified Monday in Orlando that while Bottoson sometimes hears God and believes if he were to stand at Alexander's grave God would resurrect her, that does not mean Bottoson is mentally ill.

"There are evangelists every Sunday who have large viewerships who say they're also receiving the same messages from God," Myers said. "I think when you begin to label fundamental Christian beliefs as psychosis, it's not justified."

Abe Bonowitz, director of Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, blasted the state's definition of ``competence.''

''You have to be a vegetable not to be competent for execution in this state,'' Bonowitz said before the execution.

OH, THE HORROR: Court documents show that Bottoson's mother was obsessed with religion and forced Bottoson to constantly read the Bible, pray, and preach from street corners from ages seven to nine.

FACTOIDS: An anonymous executioner pushed three syringe plungers sending a deadly mix of drugs into IV tubes needled into Bottoson's arms. He died quickly.

:( In 20 years in prison, Bottoson never had a visitor, other than his attorneys or the prison chaplain. Monday was no different.

No one claimed the killer's body either, and his ashes will be buried at the prison where he was executed.