Saturday, April 29, 2006

April 26, 2006

...The case lay dormant for almost 12 years without leads.....

Last meal: Mack had a final meal request of a fish fillet sandwich, french fries and a lemon-lime soft drink.

The skinny: Mack, 47, was executed for the rape and murder of a Reno woman.

Mack was the first Nevada convict to be executed based solely on DNA evidence.

More skinny: The victim was found dead in her basement room at a boarding house in Reno.

Her neighbor had been drinking at a nearby bar that night went to the victim's home to try to borrow some money. He knocked on her door, which was slightly open, but there was no response. He opened the door and saw the woman kneeling by her bed with her upper body facedown on the bed. He turned her over and realized that she was dead.

He immediately went home and told the landlords, and the police were called. Fingernail scrapings and evidentiary swabs from the vagina and left foot were collected. The swabs tested positive for semen. The autopsy showed that she was beaten and manually strangled to death. She had also suffered a forceful traumatic sexual penetration not long before her death. The case lay dormant for almost 12 years without leads.

In 1999 DNA testing of the evidence was requested and compared to a blood sample from Mack taken in 1994, when he was charged and convicted of strangling a prostitute, Kim Parks. (Mack was Park's pimp) While Mack was serving a life without parole sentence for that murder, DNA testing showed that the semen taken from the victim's body and the blood stains on her blouse matched Mack. The blood and tissue found under her fingertips was consistent with Mack's DNA. Mack waived jury trial and was found guilty by the court and sentenced to death by a three judge panel. The only evidence presented at trial connecting Mack to the murder was the DNA evidence.

Leading up to: Mack, who refused to give any interviews while awaiting execution, had said in court statements that he'd rather be executed than spend the rest of his life locked up on death row - even though he claimed he didn't strangle the woman.

Mack, who converted to Islam while in prison, also spent time reading the Quran in his final hours.

No one from Mack's family came outside after the execution. Mack's brother was at the prison. Mack had refused to see him

Last words and such: "Allah is great, Allah is great," Mack said before the lethal drugs took effect.

For the first time, the entire execution procedure, from the documents detailing the drugs used to the viewing of the intravenous lines being inserted into the inmate's arms, were open to the public. The corrections department released its execution protocol and allowed the blinds to be open after the Reno Gazette-Journal filed lawsuits in state and federal court requesting the changes.

Factoids: Mack was the....

15th murderer executed in U.S. in 2006
1019th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
1st murderer executed in Nevada in 2006
12th murderer executed in Nevada since 1976

The execution was the state's 12th - and the first of a black convict - since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976. Mack was the 11th of those executed to voluntarily give up available appeals.