US executes Washington sniper by lethal injection

The Washington sniper has been executed for 2002 attacks that claimed 10 lives.

US executes Washington sniper by lethal injection
The Washington sniper has been executed for 2002 attacks that claimed 10 lives.

John Muhammad staggered into the death chamber with the aid of prison guards and offered no last-minute explanation for his random killings before being executed by lethal injection.

The 48-year-old Muhammad was put to death by lethal injection at the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt, Virginia, said Virginia Department of Corrections spokesman Larry Traylor.

"Death was pronounced at 9:11 p.m. (0111 GMT) There were no complications. Mr. Muhammad was asked if he wished to make a last statement. He did not acknowledge us or make any statement whatsoever," Traylor told reporters.

"Things went very normally," Traylor added.

Muhammad's teenage accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo, also was convicted in a separate trial of another killing in Virginia and is serving a life sentence in prison.

Malvo was 17 at the time of the shootings.

There has been uncertainty over exactly how many of the victims were shot by Malvo and how many were killed by Muhammad, though courts have found they acted together in all of the sniper slayings.

The execution took place after Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine rejected Muhammad's request for clemency based on his claims of mental illness.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned down a request by Muhammad's lawyers to halt his execution and also rejected their appeal.

"Call me God"

Muhammad's current lawyers argued that his attorneys at trial were ineffective by allowing Muhammad to briefly represent himself at the start of his trial. They said he was too mentally impaired to act as his own lawyer.

Police found several notes at the scenes of the attacks. Two said "Call me God," another said, "Your children are not safe anywhere at any time" and asked for 10 million dollars to put an end to the killings.

Defense lawyers say Muhammad was not properly represented at his March 2004 trial, when his legal team did not contest his request to defend himself, and have suggested the veteran of the 1991 Gulf War suffered from Gulf War Syndrome.

Muhammad's son was among family members that visited Greensville to see him one final time.

"I don't know what he really wanted to ask, but I know he had a lot of questions he wanted to ask his dad," said Muhammad's ex-wife Carol Williams.

"It was very important for him to get in to see him. Because this is the last time," she told CNN.

Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 11 Kasım 2009, 13:47
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