Saturday, January 13, 2007

January 9, 2007

...the kitchen is open for '07...

Last Meal: Hamilton's last meal was a combination barbecue platter, with chicken, chopped brisket, ribs and hot links, barbecue sauce, a large order baked beans and extra bread.

The skinny: Hamilton, 38, was put to death for the shooting deaths of four employees during a robbery at Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken in Tulsa. The victims were all in their late teens or 20s.

More skinny: The four were herded into the restaurant's walk-in cooler and shot during a robbery that netted slightly more than $2,000. Each died of a close-range gunshot wound to the back of the head.

Hamilton and his brother fled to a Detroit suburb, where they have family.

Three other men were convicted and sentenced to life in prison in the case, but Hamilton received the death penalty in part because one of the co-defendants testified Hamilton was the shooter.

That co-defendant, Donnie Daniels, later recanted a significant portion of his trial testimony but refused to cooperate during a court hearing.

William Hamilton, Corey Hamilton's brother, and Tyrone Johnson also were sentenced to life in prison for their part in the crime.

Procedure Note: Oklahoma's method of lethal injection recently was modified to give the condemned double the amount of the anesthetic sodium thiopental to ensure they are unconscious when the fatal drugs are administered.

"It's to a level where you would feel absolutely no pain," Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Dickson said. "The Department of Corrections has bent over backward to make sure this is not cruel and unusual. We want them to have a peaceful execution."

Last words and such: In his last words, Hamilton offered no apologies but said: "I wish everyone could experience the love of God the way I have. I love everyone and hope to see you on the other side. To the victims' families, I pray that you have peace and all that you are in need of." As the mixture of lethal drugs flowed into his veins, Hamilton said, "Into thy hands I commit my spirit, O Lord." While the fatal drugs flowed through his veins, Hamilton prayed, mouthing several words, including "Jesus.”

He died with his mouth open.

Seventeen members of the victims' family witnessed the execution either from a room overseeing the death chamber or via a closed-circuit television within the prison.

Factoids: Hamilton was the....

1st murderer executed in U.S. in 2007
1058th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
1st murderer executed in Oklahoma in 2007
84th murderer executed in Oklahoma since 1976

Hamilton's was the first of 30 U.S. executions already scheduled for 2007.

No other Oklahoma executions are scheduled, but Oklahoma has 84 men and one woman on death row.