The 5th Execution of 2021
John William Hummel, 45, received a lethal injection for the
2009 killings at the state penitentiary in Huntsville in Texas on June 30, 2021, reported Newsweek.
Hummel said a brief prayer while strapped to the gurney in
the death chamber.
"Yes, when they lay me down to sleep, for I am to die
for justice, the Lord my soul to take. I'll be with Jesus when I wake," he
said, according to a prison transcript provided to Newsweek.
His last statement included remorse for the killings.
"I truly regret killing my family," he said. "I am thankful for
all the thoughts and prayers for my family over the last few days. I love each
and every one of you."
He took a half-dozen breaths as the lethal dose of
pentobarbital took effect, then began snorting quietly, the Associated Press
reported. All movement stopped about a minute later, but his eyes didn't fully
close. Hummel was pronounced dead at 6:49 p.m. CDT, 15 minutes after receiving
the lethal injection.
The authorities said Hummel stabbed his wife, Joy Hummel, 35
times on the night of December 17, 2009, then beat to death his 5-year-old
daughter Jodi Hummel and wheelchair-bound father-in-law Clyde Bedford with a
He then set their home, in the Fort Worth suburb of
Kennedale, on fire and fled to California. Prosecutors said Hummel, a hospital
security guard at the time, killed his family because he wanted to be with a
woman he met in a convenience store.
After the killings, he fled to California, but was arrested.
He later confessed to the killings, the authorities said.
Hummel was convicted of capital murder in the deaths of his
wife and father-in-law in 2011. He was not tried for his daughter's killing.
Bedford's brother Cecil Bedford watched Hummel die on
"It was too easy. It was like going to sleep," he
told the AP afterwards.
He added that a more severe punishment would have been
appropriate for Hummel, like being put to death with "a rope, a
guillotine, a firing squad."
"There's all kinds of good stuff to kill people,"
Cecil Bedford said. "They should get what they deserve. An eye for an eye.
I'm sorry. I'm old school."
Executions Delayed by Pandemic
Hummel's execution had been scheduled for March 18 last
year, but was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
He's the second inmate put to death since Texas resumed
executions in May after almost a year.
Jones was put to death on May 19 for the 1999 killing of his
great-aunt, Berthena Bryant, but experts
and death penalty opponents condemned the authorities for going ahead
without any media witnesses present.
Last week, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice announced
investigation into Jones' execution had found "a culmination of
factors" had caused the "preventable and inexcusable"
error, including new personnel and procedures. The department said several
steps had been taken to ensure that such a mistake doesn't occur again.
The American Civil Liberties Union had called
for Hummel to receive a 30-day stay of execution, arguing that putting him
to death on Wednesday would be "irresponsible and cruel."
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