Photographs from the execution of serial killer Manuel Martinez Coronado, a mass murderer whose execution was broadcast on live television in Guatemala. Coronado was convicted of murdering seven people over a land dispute, although there is some concern that it was his step father who was truly responsible. Coronado’s execution was carried out by medical doctors (pictured above in surgical gowns), something that Amnesty International has pointed out is a serious breach of ethics. During the broadcast of his death Coronado’s wife could be heard sobbing continuously during the 18 minutes it took for him die. Coronado was the first person in Guatemala to be executed by lethal injection.
Faced with an expiring supply of a controversial sedative, the state of Arkansas plans to execute eight men over 11 days — a pace that is unprecedented in recent U.S. history and that has been criticized by lawyers and former corrections officials.
The 17 January, 2006, execution of Clarance Ray Allen is arguably one of America’s most controversial executions. Clarance Ray Allen first found himself in prison after he and four accomplices robbed Fran’s Market grocery store in California. After the successful robbery, one accomplice, 17-year-old Mary Sue, blurted out that Allen was responsible for the robbery to the son of the couple who owned the grocery store.
Infuriated by the revelation, Allen ordered Lee Furrow, another accomplice, to strangle Mary Sue and to dispose of her body, to which he complied. Allen was soon apprehended and sentenced to life imprisonment while the real killer, Furrow, was charged with second-degree murder. While behind bars, Allen struck up a friendship with Billy Ray Hamilton, a conman who was going to be paroled. Revenge driven, Allen asked Hamilton to murder the witnesses whom testified against him during his trial.
On 5 September, 1980, Hamilton travelled to Fran’s Market armed with a sawed-off shotgun. Once there he senselessly murdered 27-year-old Byron Schletewitz, 17-year-old Josephine Rocha, and 18-year-old Douglas White. Unbeknownst to Hamilton, a neighbour, Jack Abbott, heard the commotion and armed himself with a shotgun and made his way to the market. Hamilton and Abbott exchanged fire before Hamilton fled. He was soon apprehended and found with a “hit list” containing the names of the witnesses; he was charged and sentenced to life imprisonment. For his part in the murders, Allen was sentenced to die.
Over the next 23 years, Allen sat on death row with his health deteriorating substantially. He lost his hearing, was confined to a wheelchair, and was declared legally blind. He didn’t know sign language so was unable to communicate. On 2 September, 2005, Allen suffered a heart attack but managed to survive. His lawyers argued that executing Allen would constitute as cruel and unusual punishment and that somebody as incapacitated as Allen was no danger to anybody . The court did not agree and Allen was executed by lethal injection the day after his 76th birthday.
Sickly and terminally ill condemned killer, Alva Campbell is scheduled to be executed in Ohio’s death chamber today November 15, 2017. Campbell will be the third Ohio prisoner executed this year since Ohio resumed carrying out executions. The other two Ohio prisoners executed in 2017 were Ronald Phillips and Gary Otte.
Because Campbell has trouble breathing, he will be allowed to partially sit up and provided a pillow during his execution in order to help him breath until he can no longer breath.
Pictured above (left) is Christopher Thomas Johnson, who killed his six month old son Elias Ocean Johnson (right) in February 2005 to spite his wife. His relationship with her had soured to the point where he “hated” her, and Johnson did not want to experience the parental ‘pressure’ of paying child support after their separation.
Christopher Johnson suffocated the baby boy by repeatedly covering his mouth for prolonged amounts of time, and also putting his fingers into Elias’ throat to block his airways. All of this occurred while his wife slept, who woke to find her son unresponsive and cold. At one point, Johnson apparently became violent and struck his son after he began to cry. Later examinations of Elias’ tiny body identified that the baby had suffered over 80 injuries during his short life, but suffocation and head trauma were specifically what caused his death.
Refusing to pursue any appeals, Christopher Johnson was sentenced to death by the state of Alabama for the murder of his son, and was executed by lethal injection on 20th October, 2011. When asked if he had any last words, Johnson simply stated “game over” moments prior to his execution.
Considering Aileen died at the age of 46, here are 46 facts about her & the life she lived.
1. Aileen was born in Rochester, Michigan, on February 29, 1956.
2. Her father, Leo Pittman, was incarcerated at the time of her birth. He hanged himself in prison in 1969.
3. She had a brother, Keith, who died in 1976 & left her $10,000 from his life insurance.
4. Diane Wuornos abandoned both of her children, Aileen & Keith, when they were just toddlers. She left them with their severely abusive grandparents, who soon adopted them.
5. Aileen was sexually abused by her grandfather from a very young age; Lauri Wuornos would force her to strip naked before beating her.
6. She did not discover that her grandparents were not her actual parents until the age of 12; the discovery made her distraught.
7. Before she was even a teenager, Aileen started to participate in sexual acts at school in return for food, drugs, and cigarettes.
8. She engaged in sexual activities with her brother during their childhood.
9. When Aileen was 14, she became pregnant as the result of rape by a friend of her grandfather’s.
10. Aileen gave birth to a baby boy at a home for unwed mothers in March of 1971 (the baby was immediately placed for adoption).
11. She dropped out of school shortly after childbirth.
12. Not long after Aileen dropped out of school, her grandmother died of liver failure, leaving her & Keith alone with their abusive grandfather.
13. At the age of 15, she was thrown out of the house by her grandfather, Lauri.
14. To support herself after being thrown out, Aileen became a prostitute.
15. For many years she lived in the woods near her old home, sheltering in makeshift forts.
16. Aileen was arrested for the first time in March 1974 for DUI, disorderly conduct, & firing a .22 caliber pistol from a moving vehicle in Colorado.
17. In the year of 1976, she hitchhiked down to Florida.
18. Aileen married 69-year-old Lewis Fell in 1976; their marriage was later annulled after she hit Fell with his own cane.
19. During & after the marriage with Fell, Aileen was arrested multiple times for assault due to altercations with locals at bars.
20. On June 2, 1986, she was detained & questioned after a male companion accused her of pulling a gun on him in his vehicle, demanding $200.
21. Before the murders, Aileen had been arrested a total of 7 times; she had also been detained twice for questioning, was once suspected of firearm theft, & had even received a restraining order from her own husband at the time, Lewis Fell.
22. She met her future partner, Tyria Moore, at a gay club in Daytona in June of 1986.
23. Eventually Aileen & Tyria moved in together, being financially supported by Aileen’s prostitution earnings.
24. On the fourth of July in 1987, Aileen & Tyria were detained for questioning about an incident that involved assault & battery with a beer bottle.
25. Aileen shot & killed 7 men in total.
26. The body of one of her victims, Peter Siems, was never found.
27. Aileen murdered all of her victims with a .22 caliber revolver.
28. On January 9, 1991, Aileen was arrested for the murders.
29. Tyria Moore drew a confession from Aileen during a phone call in exchange for immunity from prosecution.
30. Aileen was arrested on an outstanding warrant at the Last Resort bar in Port Orange, Florida on January 9, 1991.
40. For her crimes Aileen ultimately received 6 death sentences.
41. She was executed in the Florida State Prison on October 9, 2002 by lethal injection.
42. Aileen’s body was cremated; her ashes were given to a childhood friend named Dawn Botkins, who spread them beneath a tree in Michigan.
43. Aileen declined a traditional last meal (anything she desired under $20) and instead requested a cup of coffee.
44. Her last words were, “I’d just like to say I’m sailing with the rock, and I’ll be back Independence Day, with Jesus June 6. Like the movie, big mothership and all, I’ll be back.”
45. Aileen requested that the song “Carnival” by Natalie Merchant be played at her funeral.
46. Up until her execution, Aileen proclaimed her love for Tyria Moore.
Krystal Surles breaking down while testifying against Tommy Lynn Sells
It was the 31st of December 1999, when serial killer Tommy Lynn Sells entered the trailer home of Terry Harris early in the morning. Terry himself wasn’t home, but his wife and four other children were. Sells was armed with a butcher knife and went into the room were 13-year old Kaylene (Katie) Harris and 11-year old Krystal Surles were sleeping in a bunk bed. Sells lay down next to Kaylene on the bottom bunk and began sexually assaulting her, that’s when she snapped awake and began yelling for help. Kaylene tried to get up but Sells stabbed her. He then turned the bedroom light on and stabbed her a total of 16 times while slitting her throat multiple times. She died almost instantly. Sells then remembered that Krystal was laying on the top bunk and quickly slashed her throat before leaving the trailer home. Krystal pretended to be dead, but got up after a while to look for help. She thought everyone in the trailer home was dead, so she walked to a neighbor’s house to ask for help. Krystal Surles survived the attack and identified Tommy Lynn Sells as the killer.
Tommy Lynn Sells was sentenced to death on the 8th of November 2000, and was executed by lethal injection on the 3rd of April 2014
Since 1977, death by lethal injection has replaced electrocution and hanging as the most common method of execution in America. Though methods and drugs may vary, the overall procedure remains very simple and straightforward.
1. After having their last meal and last rites performed, the inmate is led to an enclosed ‘death chamber’ where all Death Row executions are performed. This often happens at night, well away from the sight of other inmates. The condemned is strapped onto a gurney while a member of the execution team sets up heart monitors.
2. Two needles connected to plastic tubes are inserted into the veins of the inmate, usually via their arms. One needle is a backup. The tubes lead to intravenous drips concealed in the chamber walls.
First, a saline solution is injected into the bloodstream alongside a powerful anaesthetic. It usually takes about seven minutes to start working; after this point, the inmate can feel little to no pain.
3. After the anaesthetic is injected the inmate is presented before a window so witnesses can observe the execution. The inmate may be permitted to say a few last words before the anaesthetic renders them unconscious.
After falling asleep the order is given to inject the inmate with pavulon or pancuronium bromide, a type of muscle relaxant. These drugs work to paralyse the muscles of the chest so the inmate can no longer breath unassisted. Sometimes the inmate will also be injected with potassium chloride to stop the heart, but often a doctor declares them dead before that.
An interesting legal issue around execution is the fact a doctor cannot legally participate in killing an inmate; medical ethics mean that the job of injecting criminals falls to inexperienced orderlies and nurses. Most botched executions are caused by a failure to correctly administer the drugs.
In 2009 in Pittsburgh, PA police were called to a home over a domestic dispute. Richard Andrew Poplawski’s mother had fought with her son over his pit bull urinating in the house. While extremely close to his grandmother, he had a strained relationship with his mother. When the police came to the house, his mother told them she wanted him out of the house. Little did the police know, the 22-year-old Poplawski was armed to the teeth. He was lying in wait armed while wearing a bullet proof vest. Although the standoff with the police lasted at least 2 hours, 3 officers were dead by the end of it and 2 were seriously injured. Before Poplawski surrendered, he called his friend and said "Eddie, I am going to die today. … Tell your family I love them and I love you.“ His friend Eddie heard the gunshots and hung up the phone. Poplawski finally surrendered when he was shot in the leg. It is said that Poplawski was a member of Stormfront, a white supremacist website where he frequently posted. On June 28, 2011, Poplawski was sentenced to death by lethal injection. Although he is fighting it, he is set to be executed March 3rd, 2017.
Photographed above is Cathy Grant, cousin of convicted murderer Christopher Newton, emotionally reacting to the news that he had been executed just moments before. She is pictured waiting outside Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, where Newton received the lethal injection.