The Associated Press covers the electrocution of a convicted rapist kidnapper, thief, rapist and murderer. Yet AP manages to cover his entire criminal career in one sentence, while finding room to discuss:
1) His 'deathbed conversion;'
2) His trepidation over lethal injection;
3) His 'late night' consultation over method of execution;
4) The possibility that lethal injection causes 'excruxciating pain;'
5) The killer's 'frustration' about the whole process of execution;
6) The killer's concern that he might not remain unconscious during injection;
7) The killer's being 'spooked' by the process;
8) The question of whether corrections officials consulted properly;
9) The problems with other electrocutions, including the need for 'extra jolts;'
10) The possibility that the killer was retarded; and,
11) The rarity of death by execution in the US.
It's hard to believe that one could fit so much compassion for a cold-blooded killer into such a small place.
To give credit where credit is due, the AP also produced a more balanced piece on the killer just a few days ago. It gives this account of the crime:
Electrocution looms for killer in Va.
By KRISTEN GELINEAU Associated Press Writer
Saturday, July 15, 2006 2:17 p.m. ET
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Weeping as one of her captors bound her with duct tape, the young woman made a final desperate plea for her life, telling the two men she was a mother.
Unmoved, Brandon Hedrick and Trevor Jones forced Lisa Crider to a remote bank of the James River.
"Do what you gotta do," Jones told his friend. Hedrick squeezed the trigger, firing a shotgun blast into Crider's face.
Crider's body was discovered that evening - on Mother's Day.
...Hedrick and Jones, then 18, spent the night of May 10, 1997, drinking, smoking marijuana and crack cocaine, and employing the services of several prostitutes, according to court documents. While cruising around Lynchburg, they spotted Crider walking along a road. Jones knew who Crider was and believed her boyfriend sold crack, and they decided to rob her because they thought she might have drugs. They forced her at gunpoint into Jones' truck, where prosecutors say Hedrick raped and sodomized her.
Later that night, they stopped at the James River and Crider was murdered...
So did Brandon Hedrick get what he deserved? I'm comfortable with the punishment.
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