Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ohio Man Apologizes Before Execution

34th Execution of 2010

Roderick Davie is the 40th person executed in Ohio since 1999. However, executions have increased in frequency this year. Davie is the seventh person executed in Ohio in 2010. Ohio's executions account for more than 20-percent of all executions carried out nationwide this year. Davie was convicted of the 1991 murder of two former co-workers, and the wounding of a third, at the Veterinary Company of America in Warren, Ohio.

The Youngstown Vindicator provided a very vivid portrait of Davie's last day. Early Monday, Davie was transported from the Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown to the Death House at the state prison.

He spent most of the day in a holding cell just 17 steps from the death chamber, talking to family members on the phone, praying and singing.

Davie, who went by the name Abdul-Hakiym Zakiy, was allowed to have a Quran, a miswak (a twig used by Muslims for cleaning their teeth) and cap in his holding cell.

He declined lunch Monday, saying he was fasting. During the evening, he was allowed contact visits with his brother and sister-in-law.

Davie did not make a special evening-meal request, but he broke his fast Monday night with a prison-issued vegetarian meal, including vegetarian nuggets, sweet potato, cauliflower, pineapple, cookies and grape drink.

He slept briefly after 1 a.m. but spent most of the night on the phone with his mother, a daughter and a niece. He ate a snack cake and wrote a letter about 4:30 a.m., then showered and dressed in clean clothing before cell-front visits with his brother and sister-in-law.

A prison log of his activities while in the Death House noted that his visits with family went well, with Davie laughing at times. He became emotional closer to the time of his execution, however, holding hands and praying with prison chaplains.

The execution was completed without complication. Prison staff took about 10 minutes to insert shunts into veins in both arms, and Davie was pronounced dead about 10 minutes after the lethal injection was started.

For his last statement, Davie thanked his parents “for their unconditional love and support through all of this.” He thanked his daughter for “helping me become a man and change” and a niece “for holding my heart.”

He also asked family members of the victims for forgiveness, looking at each of them as he was strapped to the execution table and mentioning them by name.

“Miss Jefferys,” Davie said to the mother of Tracey Jefferies, who was beaten to death. “I’m sorry and don’t know if that means anything to you, but that’s from the bottom of my heart. I mean that. I’m sorry, Miss Jefferys.”

He added later, looking at William John Everett who was shot and left for dead, “John, I hope you can let it go man and forgive me. You hear me, John?”

The victims’ witnesses watched quietly, holding hands at times. Davie turned his head and looked at them as he shut his eyes for the last time. He was pronounced dead at 10:31 a.m. Davie is the 1,222th person executed in the modern era of the death penalty.

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