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Death penalty finally does in convict

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Blitz, May 22, 2008.

  1. Blitz

    Blitz Active Member

    Great news from Mississippi !!!
    After two decades of prison time, a convicted killer got what was coming to him today.
    Good riddance !!!
    Condemned Mississippi killer Berry executed
    Associated Press Writer

    PARCHMAN, Miss. - Earl Wesley Berry was executed Wednesday for the abduction and beating death of a Mississippi woman more than two decades ago.

    Berry, 49, is the second inmate executed in the nation since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Kentucky's lethal injection procedure in April. Before the decision, executions had been on hold across the nation for seven months.

    Berry had hoped for a last-minute stay from the U.S. Supreme Court. But Justice Antonin Scalia, then the full court denied his appeal requests, and he was put to death at 6:15 p.m. CDT by lethal injection for killing Mary Bounds in 1987.

    Strapped to a metal gurney and dressed in a white T-shirt and red pants, Berry was asked if he had anything to say. "No comment" was Berry's reply.

    Berry, who had taken Valium after his last meal, closed his eyes and appeared to drift off to sleep.

    Bounds' daughter, Jena Watson, and granddaughter, Rebecca Blissard, held hands and cried as they watched Berry.

    No member of Berry's family was present, although he visited with his mother, brother and sister-in-law earlier in the day.

    Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps told reporters at the Mississippi State Penitentiary that Berry was in a much more somber mood before the execution than he was last October when the Supreme Court granted him a stay.

    Epps asked Berry if he had any remorse.

    "He said he didn't have any remorse," Epps said. "He said he felt he had served 21 years and that's enough."

    After the execution, Epps said the family of Mary Bounds got justice.

    "It is our fervent hope that members of Mrs. Bounds' family can begin healing," Epps said as he was surrounded by more than a dozen members of the woman's family.

    Charles Bounds, the victim's husband, said the past 20 years had taken a lot out of his life.

    Watson said Berry's action deprived the family of a mother, a grandmother and a friend.

    "Tonight we feel that we have received justice," she said. "There's never an end to the hurt from a violent crime. There can never fully be closure. You have to learn to do the best you can. Tonight brings finality to a lot of emotional issues."

    Gov. Haley Barbour issued a statement moments after Berry's execution, saying: "Justice has finally been rendered for this horrible crime."

    Berry confessed to abducting Bounds as she left choir practice at First Baptist Church of Houston, Miss., then beating her to death and dumping her body on a rural road.

    Berry's body was released to a Eupora funeral home.

    Berry's lawyers argued, among other things, that he was mentally retarded and therefore constitutionally barred from being executed. The state countered that Berry had unsuccessfully raised the issue of mental retardation previously and that under federal law, Berry should not be allowed to do so again.

    Amnesty International said in a statement Wednesday that it felt there was "significant evidence that Earl Wesley Berry may have mental retardation" and called on the Mississippi governor to halt the execution.

    Georgia became the first state in the nation to execute a death row inmate after the ruling. William Earl Lynd was put to death May 6 for kidnapping and killing his live-in girlfriend.

    Georgia's next execution is scheduled for Thursday night. Samuel David Crowe was sentenced to die in 1989 for killing a manager at a lumber company.
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