Saturday, August 25, 2012

Oklahoma executes man who killed woman and children

The 27th Execution of 2012

Michael Hooper, an Oklahoma death-row inmate who tried to delay his execution by challenging the state's lethal-injection method was executed August 14, 2012, just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to step in, reported the Associated Press.

Hooper, convicted of the December 1993 shooting deaths of his former girlfriend and her two young children, received a lethal dose of drugs at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. He was pronounced dead at 6:14 p.m., according to the Department of Corrections.

Hooper was sentenced to death for killing Cynthia Lynn Jarman, 23, and her two children, Tonya, 5, and Timmy, 3.

Prosecutors said the victims were with Hooper in a pickup in a mowed field when he placed a 9 mm pistol under Cynthia Jarman's chin and shot her, then shot the children to prevent them from being witnesses, reported the Associated Press.

Strapped to a hospital gurney with intravenous tubes inserted into each of his arms Tuesday, Hooper spoke as his and his victims' relatives prepared to watch his execution through a window from separate rooms.

"I just want to thank God for such an exuberant send-off," he said as other death-row inmates banged their cell doors in a tribute to the condemned man. "Also, my family for standing by me throughout all this. I appreciate them being there for me through the hardships."

Hooper did not directly speak to the victims' family members but indicated that he sought their forgiveness.

"I ask that my spirit be released directly into the hands of Jesus. I'm ready to go," he said, then turned to family members, including his mother, brother and grandfather, and smiled as the drugs began to flow at 6:08 p.m.

"I love you all," he said, then deeply exhaled and closed his eyes. Minutes later, he lay motionless.

The victims' family later issued a statement offering "our sincerest condolences" to Hooper's relatives.

"This has been a long and arduous journey for all of the families," the statement said. "We hope to close this chapter in our lives."

Hooper had sued the state last month in an effort to halt his execution, claiming that Oklahoma's three-drug lethal injection protocol was unconstitutional, reported the Associated Press.

Hooper was the fourth death-row inmate executed in Oklahoma this year.

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