Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Double Execution Comes with Double Dose of Irony

Clayton Lockett
It was to be a historic night; the state of Oklahoma would execute two men in the same evening, something that rarely happens in modern times. Clayton Lockett would go first, with Charles Warner following two hours later. The only problem was, the state was using a controversial new trio of drugs for its lethal injections.

Trouble began when Lockett was given his deadly dose of the drugs. They didn't seem to be working properly, so prison officials tried to halt the execution midway. Lockett ended up dying anyway--supposedly from complications of the execution procedure--so the execution was considered a failure because Lockett died, although that's the whole reason he was strapped to the lethal injection table in the first place. Because of the complications, Warner was given a stay and was not executed.

The other bit of irony is the fact that Warner, who was not executed, ordered and was given a last meal while Lockett, who WAS executed, did not enjoy the last meal ritual. Lockett did try, but was told that his order of steak, shrimp, baked potato, garlic toast, a whole pecan pie, and a bottle of Coke went way, way over the state's $15 spending limit. Upset by this, Lockett decided to pass on the last meal altogether.

Warner, on the other hand, ordered an approved last meal of boneless chicken wings, potato wedges, cole slaw, fruit cocktail, and Coke. He was given his last meal and ate it despite the fact that his execution was later cancelled.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

'Scuse Me While I Diss This Pie

The crimes committed by Robert Hendrix were so wild and unfathomable that he must have been in a purple haze at the time. Hendrix killed both his cousin and his cousin's wife because he feared his cousin would testify against him during a burglary trial. The cousin was shot in the head, had his throat cut, and was then beaten with the gun so many times that the trigger broke off. The cousin's wife was also shot in the head, stabbed more than 30 times, and had her throat cut as well.

Hendrix was executed tonight by the state of Florida for his crimes. For his last meal, Hendrix took advantage of Florida's generous last meal policy and ordered pork chops, biscuits with sausage gravy, and Mountain Dew. But instead of pie, which ranks as a favorite death row dessert, Hendrix rounded out his meal with German chocolate cake.  

One Last Cattle Call for William Rousan

It's rare to see a man put to death for stealing cattle these days, but William Rousan was executed by the state of Missouri this morning for just that. Of course, he did kill a few people at the same time, too. 

Rousan, along with his son and his brother, murdered a married couple who lived on a farm and then stole two cows, a VCR, some jewelry, a saddle, and other items. 

Rousan's obvious fondness for good beef followed him all the way to the grave. For his last meal, Rousan asked for a bacon cheeseburger, onion rings, and a slice of pecan pie.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sloppy Killer Has Fitting Last Meal

Jose Villegas was executed by the state of Texas tonight for a triple murder committed in 2001. The victims were his ex-girlfriend, her 3-year old son, and her mother, and each was stabbed multiple times before Villegas stole their car and their TV. At the time of the killings, Villegas was out of jail on bond for a sexual assault charge and was due to go to trial for punching another woman in the face.

Lawyers for Villegas tried for a last-minute appeal from the Supreme Court, claiming their client had an IQ of 59 and was therefore too mentally challenged to qualify for execution. But readers of my book Death Row's Oddest Inmates know that men like Villegas have very little motivation to score well on these prison-administered tests, since a high score would give the state the green light to end your life.

On a side note, Villegas stabbed his 3 victims a total of 86 times. One could argue that if the number of stab wounds you inflict on your victims exceeds your supposed IQ, you're not mentally challenged; you're just a scumbag.

Since Texas no longer allows special last meals, Villegas was served the same food as others in his unit. For his last meal, Villegas had a beef sloppy joe, macaroni and cheese, carrots, sweet peas, black-eyed peas, and sliced bread, with a choice of tea, punch, or water to drink.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hefty Hernandez Nearly Breaks the Scales of Justice

Ramiro Hernandez-Llanas was executed by the state of Texas tonight for beating a history professor to death with a metal bar in 1997, then raping the man's wife at knife point. Hernandez-Llanas committed the crime after escaping from prison in his native Mexico, where he was serving time for another murder.

The killer's lawyers claimed that Hernandez-Llanas suffered from a range of mental deficiencies including severe adaptive functioning, but judging from this photo, the killer had no problem at all adapting to prison food.

Because Texas no longer allows special last meals, the killer was served the same food as others in his unit. For his last meal, Hernandez-Llanas had chicken patties, mashed potatoes with country gravy, squash, navy beans, sliced bread, yellow cake with vanilla icing, and a choice of tea, punch, or water to drink.  

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Tommy Lynn Sells, But Nobody's Buying

Serial killer Tommy Lynn Sells was executed by the state of Texas tonight after his last-minute appeal fell through. Sells hoped to delay his execution based on the fact that nobody knows where Texas got its new supply of lethal pentobarbital, but apparently that missing morsel of information wasn't enough to tempt the U.S. Supreme Court.

Sells earned his death penalty by stabbing a 13-year-old girl to death in 1999, but he may have committed as many as 70 more murders.

Since Texas no longer allows special last meals, condemned inmates are given the same food as others in their unit. For his last meal, Tommy Lynn Sells had BBQ chopped brisket, chilled pasta salad, peas and carrots, sliced pickles, sliced bread, and he had a choice of tea, punch, or water to drink.