Saturday, March 19, 2005

March 16, 2005

Last Meal: Hall's last meal consisted of a T-bone steak, shrimps, french fries, a milkshake and a salad with ranch dressing.

The skinny: Hall was executed for throwing a woman to her death off a Mississippi River bridge after stealing her car.

More skinny: Hall kidnapped the victim at gunpoint in a shopping mall parking lot as she arrived for work. Hall and an accomplice went to the mall to steal a car to use in a planned revenge attack on a rival.

The woman had been wounded and was struggling when Hall lifted her over the railing of the McKinley Bridge and dropped her into the river's freezing waters. Her body was recovered downstream seven months later.

At the time, Hall was on parole for wounding a 4-year-old girl while he was chasing and shooting at a man in St. Louis in 1987.

The accomplice was never charged.

Legal Machinations: The courts rejected Hall's final appeals that he was ineligible for the death penalty because he was mentally retarded based on 30-year-old intelligence test scores. More recent tests showed he scored above the threshold. Hall's attorney, Nelson Mitten, sought to halt the execution based on testing he recently discovered showing that Hall's IQ at age 7 as measured at 57. An average IQ is 100. Subsequent IQ scores for Hall were generally in the 70-75 range.

The U.S. Supreme Court banned executions of the mentally retarded in 2002, and Missouri issued a similar ban a year earlier. But there is no ban against executing the borderline mentally retarded.

Last Meals and such: Hall's final words were in the form of a written statement that read: "My statement to the Wood family is to let them know how truly and sincerely sorry I am for being involved with what I was and I'd like them to know that I'm sorry. Signed, sincerely sorry, Stanley Hall."

Eight of the woman's relatives, including her mother, 81, witnessed the execution.

Factoids: Hall was the...

12th murderer executed in U.S. in 2005
956th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
1st murderer executed in Missouri in 2005
62nd murderer executed in Missouri since 1976

Hall was the first person put to death in Missouri since October 2003.

Missouri executed a modern-era record nine in 1999 and six in 2002.

Death penalty opponents demonstrated at several locations. A Catholic priest from St. Louis, the Rev. Carl Kabat, 71, of the Oblate order, was arrested when he attempted to enter the prison in protest.