Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ohio back in the execution business

The 14th Execution of 2012

Mark Wiles died by lethal injection on April 18, 2012 ending an unofficial moratorium on the death penalty in Ohio.  The delay was the result of Ohio and a federal judge wrangled over the state's lethal injection procedures.

It was the 47th execution since Ohio resumed putting inmates to death in 1999, and the state has 11 more executions scheduled, including June, July, September and November, reported The Associated Press.

Wiles, looking haggard with a sparse, cropped gray beard and shaved head, stared at witnesses for a few moments when he entered the death chamber. A few minutes later, strapped to the gurney and IV lines inserted into his arms, he raised his head and looked at witnesses again.

"Since this needs to be happening, truly I pray that my dying brings some solace and closure to the Klima family and their loved ones," he said, reported the AP.

"Finally, the state of Ohio should not be in the business of killing its citizens," Wiles concluded, reading a statement that the warden held over his head. "May God bless us all that fall short."

As the lethal sedative began flowing, Wiles nodded, appeared to be speaking, swallowed, spoke again, then gasped a few moments later. Wiles' stomach rose and fell several times and his head moved slightly, then his mouth fell open and he lay still for several minutes before he was pronounced dead.

Wiles paced back and forth and was emotional and anxious in his last minutes in his cell a few steps from the death chamber, prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said. The inmate spent the night on the phone, listening to the radio and writing letters, Smith said. He and two sisters and a brother-in-law cried during emotional visits Wednesday morning, and he also said the rosary with his spiritual adviser, a Roman Catholic priest who works at Ohio's death row in Chillicothe, reported the AP.

Wiles did not sleep since arriving at the death house Tuesday morning about 9:45 a.m., Smith said.

According to the AP, his special last meal included a large pizza with pepperoni and extra cheese, hot sauce, a garden salad with ranch dressing, a large bag of Cheetos, a whole cheesecake, fresh strawberries, vanilla wafers and Sprite, Smith said.

Records show that Wiles surprised 15-year-old Mark Klima during a burglary at his family's farmhouse and stabbed him repeatedly with a kitchen knife until he stopped moving.

Wiles could easily have escaped the farmhouse after Klima surprised him but instead chose to stab the teen repeatedly, reported the AP.  He recently dropped his appeals and volunteered to be executed.
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