Texas executes serial killer who wanted firing squad, gas

28 June 2018 - 12:33 By AFP
Deathrow inmate and convicted murderer and rapist Danny Bible, 66, is shown in this March 26, 2010 photo provided June 26, 2018.
Deathrow inmate and convicted murderer and rapist Danny Bible, 66, is shown in this March 26, 2010 photo provided June 26, 2018.
Image: Texas Department of Criminal Justice/Handout via REUTERS

The US state of Texas on Wednesday executed a serial murderer dubbed "the ice pick killer," who had filed an unusual last-minute appeal asking for a firing squad or death by lethal gas.

Instead, the state put Danny Bible to death the same way it has six other condemned prisoners so far in 2018 -- by lethal injection. Bible died at 6:32 p.m. He made no final statement.

The condemned man had confessed to molesting several children, raping multiple women and murdering four people. He was sentenced to death in 2003 for the killing of 20-year-old Inez Deaton in 1979. Her body was found near a Houston bayou, stabbed multiple times with an ice pick.

Bible's execution took place soon after the Supreme Court denied a final appeal Wednesday, in which the inmate's lawyers claimed Parkinson's disease and other ailments had left the 67-year-old man's veins too unreliable for intravenous injection.

They argued his execution would be too painful and suggested the wheelchair-bound convict instead be put to death by firing squad or a lethal dose of gas.

Since Texas law only allows for lethal injections, Bible's execution effectively would have been delayed for at least a year, had the appeal been granted, until the state's legislature could consider other methods.

In the end, Bible's lethal injection took only 15 minutes and he reportedly said little before or during the procedure.

The Houston Chronicle newspaper reported that Bible only muttered "it hurts," as he took his final breaths. After his death, a victim's family member spoke out to assembled media.

"Danny Paul Bible is as a vile and evil a person that has ever drawn breath," said Larry Lance, brother to one of Bible's victims, according to the Chronicle.

"We are glad to have witnessed him draw his last breath. I know that he will burn in hell for eternity," Lance said.

Bible's relatively peaceful execution was far different than in Ohio and Alabama, where recent executions were called off after prison personnel were unable to find proper veins to administer IV drugs.

Alabama prisoner Doyle Lee Hamm reached a settlement with the southern state in March that spared him the death penalty, a month after prison personnel spent more than two hours searching without success for useable veins during a botched execution.

"There were multiple puncture wounds on the ankles, calf, and right groin area, around a dozen," Hamm's attorney Bernard Harcourt said at the time in a blog posting.

A November execution in Ohio was also called off after about 20 minutes. Prison personnel could not find a useable vein on the body of 69-year-old convicted murderer Alva Campbell.

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