Bible, the man known as the “ice-pick killer,” accused in a series of murders and rapes, was put to death by lethal injection in Texas on June 27, 2018 following unsuccessful appeals for other execution methods that his attorneys said would be more humane for an elderly and sick prisoner. reported the Washington Post.
Attorneys for Bible argued that death by lethal injection would be inhumane and could result in a botched execution given Bible’s plethora of medical problems. They proposed two alternatives: death by firing squad or by nitrogen hypoxia — execution methods that are not legal in Texas but have been allowed in a handful of states.
Bible was pronounced dead at 6:32 p.m. Central Time, the Associated Press reported. The serial rapist and child molester was sentenced to die in 2003 for raping and murdering a young wife and mother in Houston more than two decades earlier.
Despite his attorney’s fears, Bible’s execution occurred without complications. He declined to give a final statement and stared at relatives of two of his victims who watched through a window, according to the AP. After the drugs were administered, he muttered that it was “burning” and that it “hurt.”
Bible’s attorneys said he was suffering from heart failure, coronary artery disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Parkinson’s, diabetes and several other illnesses. They argued that scars from several surgeries would make it difficult, if not impossible, to access a vein for a lethal injection. And even if the execution team managed to insert the needle, Bible’s veins were likely to rupture once doses of saline and pentobarbital begin to flow, according to a complaint filed this month in federal court in Houston.
Once Bible, who uses a wheelchair, is strapped to a gurney and lying flat, he will gasp for air and choke, attorneys argued.
In 1998, while in custody for another rape in Louisiana, Bible confessed that he had killed Deaton, court records say.
Death by firing squad is allowed only in Utah, Oklahoma and Mississippi. Utah had avoided the method for several years, but the state reversed its policy in 2015 by making death by firing squad a backup execution method. Utah carried out the country’s most recent execution by firing squad in 2010, when the state put convicted murderer Ronnie Lee Gardner to death. That was also the last execution that Utah has carried out.
In Oklahoma, death by firing squad is a last resort if other methods were deemed unconstitutional. Mississippi joined the two states last year.
A handful of states, including Oklahoma, Mississippi and Alabama, allow execution by nitrogen hypoxia, which involves placing a condemned person in a gas chamber and depriving them of oxygen. In March, Oklahoma made an unprecedented decision to use nitrogen gas to execute death row inmates after state officials had been unable to obtain lethal-injection drugs.
Bible is the 12th man executed in the country this year.
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