Monday, May 12, 2008

May 6, 2008

...and we're back..

Last Meal: Lynd had a final meal request of two pepper jack BBQ burgers with crisp onions, two baked potatoes with sour cream, bacon and cheese, one large strawberry milkshake, from a local restaurant.

The skinny: Lynd was executed for murdering his ex-girlfriend almost 20 years ago.

He became the first person in the United States to die by lethal injection since an unofficial moratorium was placed on executions while the U.S. Supreme Court decided the constitutionality of the procedure.

More skinny: Two days before Christmas 1988, Lynd shot his live-in girlfriend in the face during an argument at their home. The woman regained consciousness, followed Lynd outside, and he shot her again. Lynd then put the woma in the trunk of a car and drove away.

At trial, prosecutors argued the woma was still alive when Lynd put her in the trunk. According to testimony, Lynd heard a thumping sound, got out, opened the trunk and shot her a third time, killing her. Lynd later buried the body in a shallow grave.

He then drove to Ohio, where he shot a 42-year old woman who told police about the shooting before she died. Lynd was arrested a week later, confessed and helped police find the woman’s buried body.

Leading up to: Lynd spent much of his last day visiting with a sister and a girlfriend. He was "somber," and requested a mild sedative to calm him in the hours before going to his death.

Last words and such: Lynd said only "no" when asked if he had a final statement. He also declined a prayer.

Back in business: Lynd's execution is expected to be followed soon by several in Georgia and other states. There is one scheduled in Mississippi for May 21 and in Virginia for May 27, and more planned throughout the summer in Texas, Louisiana, Virginia and Oklahoma.

"It's going to crank up again," said lethal injection expert and Fordam Law School professor Deborah Denno. "Life is going back to the way it was" before executions nationwide were unofficially put on hold last October until the U.S. Supreme Court could rule on the constitutionality of lethal injection, the method of execution used in Georgia and 36 other states. That decision upholding lethal injection came April 16.

Factoids: Lynd was the...

1st murderer executed in U.S. in 2008
1100th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
1st murderer executed in Georgia in 2008
41st murderer executed in Georgia since 1976

There are presently 112 men and one female on death row in Georgia.

As Lynd was being executed, a dozen death penalty opponents stood in quiet protest about a mile from the sprawling Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison just outside of Jackson. They held signs proclaiming their opposition. "End state killing," one sign read. Another proclaimed "not in my name." They also stood in a circle while they prayed and sang. And just a few yards away, two women from High Falls waited in support of his execution and to show support for the victim's family. "They waited for news of Lynd's death at a picnic table a few yards from the death penalty protesters. "They shouldn't let so many years go by," said Claudia Bishop. "I feel for the victim's family and for his family but not for him."