Saturday, March 19, 2005

March 15, 2005

...five days from her first birthday...

Last Meal: Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, cole slaw, biscuits with honey butter, an apple pie, one pint of cherry ice cream and a large cherry limeade.

The skinny: Slaughter was executed for the July 2, 1991, murders of his girlfriend and their 11-month-old daughter whom he killed in a fit of anger when the victim filed a paternity suit against him.

More skinny: The infant was five days from her first birthday when she was shot twice in the head by a small caliber gun. The mother was stabbed in the chest, shot two times and her body was mutilated. One of the marks carved into her abdomen had the appearance of the letter R.

Slaughter set up an elaborate plan to get rid of the two. He had another woman he'd manipulated get him a pair of soiled men's underwear and hair clippings from an African American patient at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Oklahoma City.

Slaughter had maintained he was in Kansas at the time of the murders, that he was shopping with his wife and daughters in Topeka. Slaughter's alibi didn't hold up, that store employees remembered Slaughter's wife and daughters on that day but not him.

Instead Slaughter drove Kansas, killed the victim's, then drove back to Kansas, leaving the hair and underwear at the scene.

Slaughter maintained his innocence of the murders to the bitter end.

Legal Machinations: Slaughter tried to get his conviction overturned by submitting to a "brain fingerprinting" test by Seattle-based neuroscientist Larry Farwell. In the procedure, which the Harvard-educated Farwell says is accurate but has yet to gain much legal acceptance, the suspect is fitted with a headband-like sensor device, then shown photographs and other evidence from the crime scene. Seeing something familiar is said to trigger brain waves of recognition, which the sensor detects and flashes on a computer screen. Farwell told the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board in February that test results indicated Slaughter had not committed the crime, but the board members refused to grant him clemency.

Last words and such: "I've been accused of murder and it's not true. It was a lie from the beginning. God knows it's true, my children who were with me know it's true and you people will know it's true someday. May God have mercy on your souls."

No noise: In the minutes leading up to the execution, death row inmates typically bang on their cell doors, whistle and whoop as a kind of "last sendoff" for an inmate they like. Sometimes the banging and whistling is so loud it can be heard in the death chamber's witness room. Other times it's more muted, but can still be heard in the law library of H Unit, the portion of the prison that houses death row. At times the banging, whistling and whooping begins a half hour before the scheduled execution time and continues until long after the inmate is pronounced dead. But there was none of that Tuesday. Just silence.

Factoids: Slaughter was the...

11th murderer executed in U.S. in 2005
955th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
1st murderer executed in Oklahoma in 2005
76th murderer executed in Oklahoma since 1976

Slaughter was the 160th person executed by the State of Oklahoma since 1915.