US carries out 1st electrocution in years

2013-01-17 15:20

Washington - An American who murdered two fellow inmates while serving a life sentence was put to death by electric chair, a first such execution since 2010, authorities said.

Robert Gleason, a 42-year-old former tatoo artist, was declared dead at 21:08, said Larry Traylor, a spokesperson for the Department of Corrections in the state of Virginia

Gleason was serving a life sentence for a 2007 murder when he strangled a 63-year-old prisoner in 2009 and another, aged 26, while he awaited sentencing.

"Gleason has expressed no remorse for these horrific murders. He has not sought to appeal his convictions and has not filed a petition for clemency," Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell said in a statement.

He added that he "found no compelling reason to intercedeā€.

In press interviews, Gleason asked to be executed quickly to keep from killing and, according to the Death Penalty Information Centre, told the court at his trial that he wanted the death penalty.

His defence team, however, had sought to save his life, highlighting his traumatic childhood, psychiatric woes, and history of drug and alcohol abuse.

"Gleason has said that he wants the 16 January execution to 'go as is,'" McDonnell said, adding that "he has been found competent by the appropriate courts to make all of these decisions".

Gleason, who received no visitors on Wednesday, chose death by electrocution instead of lethal injection, according to Traylor.

His execution will be the first by electric chair in the US since that of Paul Powell in Virginia on 18 March 2010, according to the DPIC.

It said 157 executions out of 1 320, including 30 in Virginia, have been by electrocution since the US reinstated the death penalty in 1976.

Gleason's execution also marks the first of 2013 and the first in Virginia since August 2011.

In 2012, 43 inmates were executed in the US, the DPIC said.

  • dienaakte.waarheid.7 - 2013-01-17 15:31

    *sigh*...if only we....oh nevermind

  • chris.gill.9849 - 2013-01-17 15:38


  • jose.d.santos.9041 - 2013-01-17 15:38

    that is what is needed here .. bring back the death penalty

  • jj.jeno.1 - 2013-01-17 15:40

    Why would you electrocute someone though? Honestly, the lethal injection is effective...this seems unnecessary.

      HappyAgnostic - 2013-01-17 15:49

      Ja whatever. If he'd raped and murdered your children, you'll flip the switch yourself. Hope he enjoyed riding the lighting!

      frans.bezuidenhout.18 - 2013-01-20 11:00

      Why would you murder someone else though Did he care about the pain he inflicted - electrocution is probably less painful than being stabbed.

      jl - 2013-02-18 13:26

      He got a choice guy.

  • Christie Nigrini - 2013-01-17 15:43

    bring die doodstraf SA toe ook asb! as jy steel, kap jou hande af! as jy moor, kry jy die doodstraf! tronk is n vakansieoord vir boewe en moordenaars! as jy nie werk het nie of nie kos het om te eet nie, moor iemand sodat jy tronk toe kan gaan, elke dag kos te kan he, n bed het om in te slaap... BRING DOODSTRAF TERUG!!!

  • gary.doyle.520 - 2013-01-17 15:54

    Eskom wouldn't be able to keep up with our electrocutions if we brought back the death penalty.

  • abner.mophethe - 2013-01-17 15:55

    vengeance is mine,said the Lord

      martin.melzer.378 - 2013-01-20 14:19

      You're right Abner. However early in the Old Testament it also states unequivocally (something like) He who sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed. I guess it may depend on context.

  • sean.bagley.50 - 2013-01-17 16:02

    Electrocutions replaced the gas chamber in the 1950's.America still does lethal injections.How South Africa could do with any of those capital punishment executions to cut back on our crime. - 2013-01-17 20:57

      Actually, each state had its own method of execution (eg: firing squad in Utah, hanging in California) and still do as an alternative to the lethal injection if the inmate requests this. Florida's electric chair has the nickname "old sparky"

  • DrGonzoSA - 2013-01-17 16:24

    What difference will this make to US crime figures?

      martin.melzer.378 - 2013-01-20 14:33

      Perhaps quite a significant difference. This guy appears to have wanted death but experience with Plea Bargains in the USA shows that quite a lot of alleged murderers confess as long as they can avoid the Death Penalty. They fear death so it is undoubtedly a better deterrent than imprisonment for life ( no matter what the pseudo-enlightened left have to say on the matter) Better deterrent presumably means fewer attempts to murder.

  • andrew.collings.94 - 2013-01-17 16:53

    Good old sparky is back.

  • richard.young.1253236 - 2013-01-20 09:45

    Does the punishment fit the crime? Murdering policemen, murdering and raping small children, murder with aggravating circumstances and rape with with aggravating circumstances all call for the ultimate punishment. But it's a pity that humans do these things and attract these harsh sanctions after being on earth for 4,5 million years and around 200 000 years in modern form.

  • frans.bezuidenhout.18 - 2013-01-20 10:58

    US reinstated the death penalty in 1976. WAKE UP SOUTH AFRICA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • pages:
  • 1