Saturday, August 23, 2003

The editors of apologize for the information embargo. We have spent the last couple of weeks on the set shooting a major motion picture for Warner Brothers. More details as the opening approaches.

But now back to the grim task at hand.

August 22, 2003

...tossed salad man.....

Last Meal: Jones requested a tossed salad with shredded carrots and cheese and thousand island dressing and a Coke.

The Skinny: Jones was executed for the shooting death of a man who had stopped for coffee at a Raleigh convenience store.

Jones was 18 when he came into the store and indiscriminately fired an Uzi, killing the victim. The shooting also injured another customer.

A tape from a security camera showed that Jones fired six shots from a gun as he entered the convenience store. He fired before announcing that he was robbing the store and discharged a total of 10 bullets. Jones' lawyers argued that his death sentence should have been commuted because he was 18 years old at the time of the murder.

Last words and such: Jones winked at his lawyer and his relatives when he was brought into the execution chamber. During the 10 minutes he waited for the injection of lethal drugs, he looked repeatedly at members of the victim's family and said, "I'm sorry." Just before the drugs put him to sleep, Jones looked back at his uncle and lawyer and said "I'm gone." He then said "I love you" several times to family.

Jones' last statement was made in English and Arabic asking for mercy.

Outside the walls: A group of between 30 and 40 death penalty opponents held a candlelight vigil. Stephen Dear, executive director of People of Faith Against the Death Penalty, said a drug used in executions made the death appear peaceful but paralyzes muscles and masks any pain that the inmate may feel.


Jones was the...

52nd murderer executed in U.S. in 2003
872nd murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
1st murderer executed in North Carolina in 2003
24th murderer executed in North Carolina since 1976

August 7, 2003

.....Bad Guest Service Station......

Last Meal: For his final meal, Fortenberry requested shrimp but it wasn't available in the prison kitchen. He ate snacks from the vending machines in the visitation area.

The skinny: Fortenberry was executed for killing four people during a gas station robbery in 1984 during the course of a $400 robbery of the Guest Service Station.

Police later found the murder weapon and traced it to a gun repair shop partly owned by Fortenberry's father. During questioning by police, Fortenberry led lawmen to the location where he had disposed of the pistol after the slayings. It was the exact area that police had recovered the weapon. Fortenberry also gave several stories about the murders. He told police he needed money because of a gambling habit. Fortenberry later claimed he was at the station, but another man shot the four victims. That man was named Harvey Underwood.

Last Day: Fortenberry slept well Wednesday night, his last night, awoke about 5 a.m. Thursday and refused to eat breakfast. He went back to sleep until about 7:30 a.m., when he got up, showered and dressed, and had more visits with family and friends.

Fortenberry gave his Bible to his mother, his TV to a nephew, a cup and other items to fellow Death Row inmates.

Last words and such: Fortenberry had no last words but smiled faintly, flashed an "I love you" hand sign to two prison ministry friends in an adjoining witness room.

Post event words: "The punishment is not in the dying, it's in the 19 years of hell he's lived through," said Ben Sherrod, a lay minister with the prison ministry Kairos. "You watched a Christian die, a man that's now in the arms of our Lord."

Factoids:Fortenberry was a former nursing school graduate.

Fortenberry was the....

51st murderer executed in U.S. in 2003
871st murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
3rd murderer executed in Alabama in 2003
28th murderer executed in Alabama since 1976