Wednesday, April 06, 2005

April 5, 2005

...To avoid extravagance, the food to prepare the last meal must cost no more than $20 and must be purchased locally...

Last Meal:
Ocha, who changed his name in prison to Raven Raven, received a final meal of a fried chicken breast, potato salad, kernel corn, two biscuits and a large glass of Pepsi.

The skinny: Ocha, an engraver who hanged a woman he met at a bar from his kitchen door after sex and drank beer while she died was executed Tuesday, three years after firing his attorneys and dropping the legal appeals to his death sentence.

Ocha had waived a jury trial and pleaded guilty to the Oct. 5, 1999 killing of a convenience store employee who had given Ocha a ride home from the Kissimmee bar where he engraved beer mugs. He was drunk and high on Ecstasy and they had sex. The victim told him she was going to tell her boyfriend and made disparaging remarks about his anatomy. He made her sit in a chair while he got rope from his garage and tried to strangle her. When his arms grew tired, Ocha hanged her from a door, drinking a beer and cleaning his kitchen as she died.

Legal machinations: Ocha's execution came hours after Gov. Jeb Bush said he thought about delaying it out of respect for Pope John Paul II's death, but decided against it because of sympathy for the victim's family. Bush is a Roman Catholic and the pope, who died Saturday, opposed capital punishment.

Last words and such: Ocha woke up Tuesday morning and told the guards outside his cell he was ready to die. Prison officials say Ocha was in a good mood leading up to Tuesday's execution. But, as the clock ticks that changed.

Ocha, 47, apologized to the victim and her family before an anonymous executioner injected a lethal cocktail of three chemicals to stop his heart and his breathing.

"This is the punishment that I deserve," Ocha said in his final statement from the death gurney. He also said, ``I would like to say I apologize to Carol Skjerva, the girl that I murdered, and her family and her friends.''

After the statement he closed his eyes, he breathed heavily for about a minute and then there was no further movement.

Factoids: Ocha was the13th murderer executed in U.S. in 2005
957th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
1st murderer executed in Floida in 2005
60th murderer executed in Missouri since 1976

Death Row inmates are served meals three times a day: at 5:00 am, from 10:30 am to 11:00 am and from 4:00 pm to 4:30 pm. Food is prepared by prison staff and transported in insulated carts to the cells. Inmates are allowed plates and spoons to eat their meals. Prior to execution, an inmate may request a last meal. To avoid extravagance, the food to prepare the last meal must cost no more than $20 and must be purchased locally.