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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Valdosta journalist witnesses execution of William Lynd

William Earl Lynd was executed by lethal injection on May 6 in Jackson, Ga., 45 miles south of Atlanta. He was the first prisoner executed in the United States after the U.S. Supreme Court recently lifted a moratorium on the practice. Dean Poling, a journalist at the Valdosta Daily Times, witnessed and wrote about the event.

From his article:

These are among the last things William Earl Lynd sees.

A gathering of faces in the witness room. Most are strangers, official faces from the state Department of Corrections office. The faces of two of Ginger Moore's relatives whom he may or may not have known on the front row. Witnesses include former Berrien County Sheriff Jerry Brogdon who took Lynd's confession and former Alapaha District Attorney Robert Ellis who prosecuted the case against Lynd. He might recognize their faces if he sees them through the glass.

The faces he most likely recognizes are those of the prison's personnel. Unlike most of the other witnesses, however, they do not look at Lynd.

Strapped to the gurney, Lynd can only move his head and his eyes. There are the uniformed correctional officers, six big men, who press against him to administer the straps. He is in a small room, the chamber, led their by the six officers from a connecting door. There is the window to the witness room. A ringed curtain conceals one wall of the chamber. Behind Lynd is a one-way glass where three officials will each press one of the three chemicals which will put Lynd to sleep, paralyze him then stop his heart.

Read the rest here.

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