Wednesday, November 03, 2004

November 2, 2004

...Morris did not vote in Tuesday's presidential election...

Last Meal: Morris had a final meal request of fried chicken and fried fish, french bread, hot peppers, apple pie, butter pecan ice cream, two soft drinks, either Sprites or Big Reds and a pack of Camel cigarettes and matches. The request for the Camels was denied because the prison system is tobacco-free

The skinny: Morris was executed for the stabbing and beating of a 70-year-old man.

More skinny: Morris attacked the man in his home, cutting his throat and bludgeoning him in the head with a hammer.

From the attack, the victim suffered severe head injuries and irreparable brain damage. He was in a coma when Morris was arrested in March 1991 for the unrelated shooting during a robbery.

In interviews with police, he told them about the attack on the man, but contended the victim first had come at him with the hammer. However, according to Morris’ girlfriend at the time, she and Morris were in Field’s home when she saw Morris sitting on top of Fields holding a knife in one hand and beating him with the other.

She heard Morris tell the victim that he was going to kill him and then asked him where he kept his money. The man remained in a vegetative state in a hospital and developed pneumonia and gangrene requiring amputation of a leg. He died the day after the operation.

Morris contended that the death was the result of hospital negligence, neither the jury nor the appeals courts were buying it as a defense. At the trial, two doctors testified for the prosecution that the beating was the underlying cause of his death. The medical examiner for Harris County ruled the death a homicide.

Priors: The former laborer already had arrests for assault, robbery, weapons and drug possession, and had served at least two prison terms when he was arrested for the stabbing.

When the victim died nine months after the attack, Morris wound up charged with capital murder, was convicted and condemned. He was already serving a life sentence for the robbery of a coin-operated laundry where the clerk was shot twice but survived.

In other news: A prison spokeswoman said Morris did not vote in Tuesday's presidential election because Texas law forbids jailed felons from casting a ballot.

Last words and such: Morris had asked that no last-day appeals be filed to try to block his scheduled execution.

Morris' attorney said his client made the request in order to spare his family any additional "despair or upset."

When asked by the warden if he had a final statement, Morris replied, "No."

Factoids: Morris was the...

54th murderer executed in U.S. in 2004
939th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
19th murderer executed in Texas in 2004
332nd murderer executed in Texas since 1976