Saturday, May 21, 2005

May 17, 2005

...more than three hours strapped to a gurney...

Last Meal: Brown requested shrimp, french fries, salad and cake.

The skinny: Vernon Brown was executed for killing a 9-year-old girl and a 19-year-old woman, and was a suspect in a child killing in Indiana.

More skinny: Walking home from school, the nine-year-old girl passed the home of Vernon Brown, who enticed her into the house. Brown’s stepsons and a neighbor saw the girl enter the house. Brown’s claims that at this point he began suffering PCP-induced blackouts. Brown then locked the stepsons in their bedrooms, but they listened to her screams through the air vents as he took the victim to the basement and bound her feet and one hand with a coat hanger. Brown then strangled her to death with a rope.

The next day, the body was found in two trash bags near a dumpster in an alley behind Brown’s house. Upon arrest, Brown confessed to the murder and also admitted murdering a 19 year old a year earlier. At that time, Brown was living under an alias and working as a maintenance man in an apartment building when he strangled her in her basement apartment with an electrical cord and stabbed her in the chest and throat. Brown was also convicted of this murder and sentenced to death.

Brown had been convicted of sexually assaulting a 12 year old girl in the 1970's and spent four years in prison.

Leading up to...Brown watched a little television and took calls from his brother and a woman proporting to be his mother. However, a prison spokesmen said that Brown's mother is dead. Brown mood during the evening was described as "scared." Brown declined a sedative at 7 p.m. but agreed to sedation at about 1 a.m. Brown fell asleep for a "good amount of time" before the procedure was begun.

Waiting: After more than three hours strapped to a gurney waiting to hear the U.S. Supreme Court's final decision on his appeal, Brown looked to the left towards his spiritual advisor and one of his lawyers, then looked up at the ceiling of the death chamber. After the first drug was administered at 2:32 a.m., Brown moved his head slightly with his eyes closed, and pointed his chin up towards the ceiling blowing air out of his mouth, which then fell open. A doctor pronounced Brown dead at 2:35 a.m.

The issues in front of the court dealt with the constitutionality of Missouri's method of lethal injection and racial disparity in executions.

Last words and such: Brown issued his own statement. "You'll see me again. To all my friends, don't think of me as being gone, but there with you." He continued, "And to Jazz, who has my heart and love. Peace, love. Vernon Brown." A prison spokesmen said he was uncertain who Jazz was.

Factoids: Brown was the...

23rd murderer executed in U.S. in 2005
967th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
3rd murderer executed in Missouri in 2005
64th murderer executed in Missouri since 1976