Thursday, July 20, 2006

July 12, 2006

...the couple had just married two years earlier while Barton was in prison for the attempted murder of his ex-wife in Kentucky...

Last Meal: Barton requested a “special meal” of pork chops, gravy, hash browns, biscuits, fried eggs over easy, cherry pie and Pepsi. Barton ate all of his specially-requested meal, except for the cherry pie which he saved for breakfast. Barton awoke at 4:47 a.m., showered, got dressed and ate a regular prison breakfast of two hard boiled eggs, Cream of Wheat, grapefruit, toast and orange juice...and the pie.

The skinny: Barton was executed for fatally shooting his wife because she wanted to leave him.

More skinny: Barton murdered his fourth wife at their home in Waynesville after they had gotten in a domestic dispute that morning. He called and threatened her several times the day of the killing before persuading her to come to the house to get her belongings. When she arrived, he appeared and shot her once in the shoulder and then again in the back at close range. His uncle and the woman's 17-year old daughter witnessed the shooting.

He then turned the gun on himself, blowing out most of his teeth and requiring four surgeries to insert pins, wires and screws to hold his eyes in their sockets and the cadaver’s jaw to replace his shattered one.

Barton has a history of arrests for burglary, assault, drug and DUI charges and violence against women. He beat one of his ex-wives with a shotgun, stabbed her three times, cut her throat and left her for dead, but she survived. The victim had known Barton for many years, but the couple had just married two years earlier while Barton was in prison for the attempted murder of his ex-wife in Kentucky.

Last words and such: Barton, 49, said he deserved execution and gave up his appeals that could have delayed his sentence for years.

"I’m sorry for what I done. I’m sorry for killing your mama. I’m not asking you to forgive me. Not a day goes by that I’m not trying to forgive myself. Don't let your anger and hate for me destroy your lives."
He also apologized to his parents for the "embarrassment and shame" brought on the family, then stated, "As Gary Gilmore said, ‘Let’s do it.’ "

Gilmore, who was convicted in Utah of shooting two people, said the same thing before he became the first person put to death after a 1976 Supreme Court ruling that the death penalty was legal. He was executed Jan. 17, 1977, by firing squad.

The Process...It was a successful first test of lethal injection guidelines adopted after the last execution was plagued with problems. Two injection sites were established on Rocky Barton -- one as a backup in case something went wrong with a vein -- and the whole process went smoothly, prisons Director Terry Collins said.

The state's lethal injection protocol was changed after Joseph Clark's execution in May, which was held up 90 minutes when prison staff struggled to find a useable vein and one they used collapsed. The state now requires staff to make every effort to find two injection sites and use a low-pressure saline drip to make sure the veins stay open once entryways are inserted. The execution team appeared more relaxed and less hurried after the new guidelines advised staff against feeling pressured to follow what had become an artificial, self-imposed timeframe to complete an execution quickly, Collins said. "I think that was the biggest thing," Collins said. "I noticed a different relaxation." Barton also was examined closely for any medical problems a day before his execution and again on Wednesday morning.

Factoids: Barton was the....

27th murderer executed in U.S. in 2006
1031st murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
3rd murderer executed in Ohio in 2006
22nd murderer executed in Ohio since 1976