Wednesday, July 16, 2008

June 4, 2008

..he later tried to explain the gunshot residue on his hands by saying that he fed his dog doses of gunpowder...

LAST MEAL: Osborne declined a special last meal request and instead will have the institution’s meal tray, consisting of grilled cheeseburger, oven browned potatoes, baked beans, cole slaw, cookies and a grape beverage.

The skinny: Osborne was executed by lethal injection for a 1990 double murder.

More skinny: The two victim's bodies (a man and a woman) were found in the front of a car in Griffin, Georgia.

Both had been shot, apparently from the back seat of the vehicle. Curtis Osborne was arrested and subsequently told police that he had shot the man, to whom he owed money, because the man had threatened to beat him and was reaching for a weapon.

Osborne was a small time junkie/dealer who sold a motorcycle for a the victim for $400, then pocketed the money. When the man came after the cash, Osborne shot the man and his girlfriend at close range.

He later tried to explain the gunshot residue on his hands by saying that he fed his dog doses of gunpowder, but the authorities weren't impressed. Osborne eventually confessed.

At trial, Curtis Osborne also testified on his own behalf: "There were certain circumstances that took place that night [of the crime], and sometimes things happen out of emotion and not just deliberation. Just things sometimes happen in certain ways. I want to say I’m sorry and I just ask you people to have mercy on me."

The appeals: Osborne's lawyers argued he had an inadequate defense. Osborne's lawyers now say the late Johnny Mostiler, the white public defender in Spalding County at the time, had used a racial slur when he referred to Osborne, an African-American, and said his client should be executed. They also said Mostiler did not ask for money to hire an expert who could have told the jury of Osborne's mental illness and drug use.

Political luminaries including President Carter and the ex-chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court urged the board to commute the sentence. Prosecutors, though, said he should face capital punishment for his crime.

The day of...On his last day, Osborne spent several hours with 14 visitors, five at a time, until midafternoon. Once his visitation was over, Osborne was given his final physical. He returned to a cell just yards from the death chamber about 4. He declined his final meal or to make a recorded last statement or to have a mild sedative offered an hour before the scheduled 7 p.m. execution. Then he waited for his execution.

Last words and such: Executioners struggled for 35 minutes to find a vein. Osborne said nothing while the IVs were inserted.

Once the witnesses were in place, Osborne shook his head "no" when Warden Hilton Hall asked if he had any final words. He nodded "yes," however, when a prayer was offered. The prison chaplain prayed that God would find "favor" with Osborne. The inmate could be seen moving his lips also in prayer as the minister offered his words.

Factoids: Osborne was the...

4th murderer executed in U.S. in 2008
1103rd murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
2nd murderer executed in Georgia in 2008
42nd murderer executed in Georgia since 1976

The victim's relatives waited for news that the execution was over while about 25 protesters were outside. As his hour of death approached, death-penalty opponents gathered at the edge of the property of the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison near Jackson, about a mile from the death chamber. They also gathered in seven other cities. They held signs and sang in protest.