Wednesday, October 29, 2003

October 29, 2003

"It was Joh_"

Last Meal: Smith had no last meal, but ate ice cream and granola bars throughout the day leading up to the execution.

The skinny:Smith was executed for killing his ex-girlfriend and her stepfather after she broke off their relationship. One month later Smith drove to the home and entered through the basement door, then took off his shoes and went upstairs.

Once inside, he went to victim's bedroom, and attacked her with a knife. In the living room and kitchen area, Smith scuffled with the woman, stabbing and cutting her eight times. She did not die immediately, and as she lay dying, she wrote, "It was Joh_." on the kitchen floor in her own blood.

Smith then went toward the stepfather's bedroom and attacked him. Smith pushed the man onto the bed, got on top of him, and started stabbing him. He was cut and stabbed eleven times in the chest, arms, leg, hand, and hip; he died from loss of blood.

No Legal Machinations: Smith had waived all appeals, saying he deserved to die for the 1997 stabbings.

Last Day: Smith had access Tuesday to forms for 11th-hour federal appeals, but made no use of them. He spent his final day quietly, without visitors, eating ice cream and granola bars and at times talking with relatives by telephone.

Smith rejected interview requests in the days before his death. His push to halt appeals of his death sentence dated to at least mid-2001, when he told the judge who condemned him that he was "totally guilty," "very sorry," mentally fit to abandon his legal challenges and ready to die "once and for all."

"The punishment of death is suitable,"
he wrote then.

Last words and such: "First of all I want to tell the whole family of the victims just how truly sorry I am for all the pain and grief I have caused you by my actions," he said in his final statement. "I sincerely have been praying for all of you. I only ask that somewhere down life's road, you can find it in your hearts to forgive me."

Maybe not... Bridie Brooks, a sister of the victim, shouted "Burn in hell" from behind the glassed-off witness area at the Potosi Correctional Center.

Factoids: Smith was the:

58th murderer executed in U.S. in 2003
878th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
2nd murderer executed in Missouri in 2003
61st murderer executed in Missouri since 1976

A distrubing headline: "NEMO Killer Executed By Lethal Injection"

On further investigation, NEMO stands for NorthEast MissOuri. That cute fish from the summer blockbuster "Finding NEMO" is safe and will be swimming toward you in a sequel real soon.