Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Arizona Executes Man for 1987 Killing

The 27th Execution of 2011

Arizona executed Thomas Paul West by lethal injection at the state prison in Florence on July 19, 2011 according Reuters. He is the fourth inmate executed this year in Arizona.

Authorities said West was a recent transplant from Illinois when he went to Don Bortle's home with friends in June 1987, looking to buy some merchandise up for sale.

West returned two weeks later, bursting into the home, binding Bortle's hands and feet with a vacuum cleaner cord and lamp wire and gagging him, according to court records. West beat Bortle and left with his car, electronic equipment and other items and leaving Bortle to Bleed to death.

West did not have any last words, and declined a last meal, a corrections department spokesman said, according to Reuters.

Attorneys for West had argued his life should be spared because he was physically and sexually abused while growing up. According to Reuters, Bishop Gerald Kicanas of the Diocese of Tucson also sought to block the execution. West's attorneys maintained the state's lethal injection statute was unconstitutional and lacked needed "standards and procedural safeguards."

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