Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Daniel Lopez: Suicidal or Just Plain Sorry?


Daniel Lee Lopez was executed by the state of Texas tonight for causing the death of a police officer in 2009. While trying to flee from the police after a traffic stop, Lopez struck the officer with his SUV as the officer stood on the side of the highway. Later, Lopez rammed the same SUV into several police cars when they tried to block his escape. Lopez didn’t end his vehicular assault until he was shot, wounded, and apprehended.

While Lopez’s crime was a heinous one, his own lawyer tried to brand him as insane for simply accepting his death sentence without a fight. Because Lopez didn’t file endless appeals or ask for clemency from numerous courts, this was called a sign of “obvious and severe mental illness” by the lawyer, who accused Lopez of committing suicide via the legal system.

The question now becomes this: if an inmate who must be dragged to the lethal injection table kicking and screaming, perhaps making wild and bizarre statements along the way, is dubbed insane, then why is an inmate who calmly accepts his court-ordered fate without a protest labeled the same way?

Since Texas no longer allows special last meal requests, Lopez was served the same food as others in his unit. For his last meal, Daniel Lopez had baked chicken, mashed potatoes, country gravy, carrots, black eyed peas, a lemon cookie bar, and sliced bread, with a choice of water, tea, or punch to drink.  

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Zink Outside the Box

David Zink, recently executed by the state of Missouri for a rape and murder which occurred in 2001, took an interesting viewpoint on his impending execution. "For those who remain on death row, understand that everyone is going to die," Zink said in his final statement. "Statistically speaking, we have a much easier death than most, so I encourage you to embrace it and celebrate our true liberation before society figures it out and condemns us to life without parole and we too will die a lingering death."

While Zink's words sounded a little like Tom Sawyer telling his friends how much fun it is to paint a fence, maybe the condemned man truly was thinking outside the box---or outside the cell, as it were---and came to the conclusion that his execution was preferable to a long jail term. We just hope his words don't inspire average law-abiding citizens to commit capital crimes for the sake of escaping the drudgery of everyday life and death.

For his last meal, Zink enjoyed a cheeseburger, French fries, cheesecake, and a soft drink.




Thursday, June 18, 2015

Russeau Beats Victim But Can't Beat Death

Gregory Russeau was executed tonight by the state of Texas for a murder committed in 2001. Russeau beat a 75-year-old man to death with a heavy, blunt object thought to be a hammer, then stole the victim’s car. Hours after the victim was discovered, the police found Russeau driving that very same vehicle.

Because Texas no longer allows special last meal requests, Russeau was served the same food as others in his unit. For his last meal, Russeau had a baked pork chop, macaroni and cheese, green beans, mixed vegetables, black-eyed peas, and cornbread, with a choice of tea, punch, or water to drink.

For more on Gregory Russeau’s last meal, see the first of our new appetizer-sized Last Suppers videos HERE

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Strong Appetite for Double Murderer

Impending death didn't seem to hamper the appetite of a convicted killer before his execution in Missouri tonight; Richard Strong asked for fried chicken, a cheeseburger, and some doughnuts prior to his appointment with the Grim Reaper. Strong earned his death sentence for killing both his girlfriend and the woman's young daughter with a butcher knife in 2000.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Heavy Sentence for Ultralight Crime

After lingering on death row for over three decades, Lester Bower Jr. was finally executed by the state of Texas tonight. Bower earned his death sentence for the murders of four men during what appeared to be the theft of an ultralight airplane valued at around $4,000. Parts of the airplane were found at Bower's home after the murders, along with ammunition matching the bullets used in the multiple homicide.

Bower always claimed innocence, and won multiple appeals while on death row. In fact, he was given seven execution dates over the years, but the first six were stayed while various courts considered Bower's legal claims. 

Because Texas no longer allows special last meal requests, Bower was served the same food as others in his unit. For his last meal, Bower had baked chicken, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, black eyed peas, cornbread, sliced bread, and oatmeal bars, with a choice of water, tea, or punch to drink.

Dealing with so many execution dates over the years must have been harrowing for Bower; as a bonus, however, the condemned man did finally earn the seventh punch on his Execution Card and was able to claim his free sub sandwich.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Chicken for Charles

Sometimes a killer doesn’t choose his murder weapon beforehand, simply using anything that’s readily available. But in the case of Derrick Charles, the man used EVERYTHING that was available when he killed his three victims in 2002.

On the day of the murders, Charles illegally entered his girlfriend’s house and was surprised by the girl’s grandfather. Charles punched the man repeatedly, beat him with a lamp and some trophies, then strangled him with the lamp cord. When Charles’s girlfriend and her mother came home, Charles hit his girlfriend in the face with a car speaker then dropped a TV set on her head, killing her. He then tried to electrocute the girl’s mother by putting her in a bathtub full of water and throwing the TV in with her, but when that plan failed, Charles strangled her with an extension cord.

Charles was executed by the state of Texas tonight, which chose to skip all the cumbersome appliances and used a simple lethal injection instead. Because Texas no longer allows special last meal requests, Charles was given the same food as others in his unit. For his last meal, Derrick Charles had baked chicken, mashed potatoes, country gravy, carrots, black eyed peas, and sliced bread, with a choice of water, tea, or punch to drink.