OH executes double murderer by lethal injection after appeal fails


Defence lawyer Carol Wright tried unsuccessfully to leave the witness room to alert a federal judge that there appeared to be problems.

Gary Otte arrived at the death house in southern OH shortly before 10 a.m. Tuesday, prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said.

Otte gave a thumbs-up sign, and then his stomach rose and fell several times between 10:41 and 10:42.

The last words were derived from a Bible account of Jesus Christ's crucifixion.

Smith says that Otte's requested final meal, called the special meal in OH, includes a mushroom and Swiss cheese hamburger, a quart of Heath Bar ice cream and a slice of banana cream pie.

He said: "Father, forgive them for they know not what they're doing".

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OH put the killer of a 3-year-old girl to death in July, the first execution in more than three years after a delay caused by a drug shortage. The rising and falling of his chest was similar to reactions in past executions when a different drug was used.

Otte didn't sleep after arriving at the prison at 9:46 a.m. Tuesday and spent his time on the phone with friends and family and visiting with his parents and other relatives.

The Ohio Supreme Court [official website] had declined [text, PDF] to hear an appeal regarding the death sentence two hours before the scheduled execution time.

Otte, 45, was sent to death row for fatally shooting Robert Wasikowski and Sharon Kostura during home invasion robberies in a Cleveland suburb in 1992.

Otte was 20 when he killed Wasikowski and Kostura. Ohio Governor John Kasich [official website], also denied Otte clemency. The following year, the state said it would restart executions using a new three-drug protocol.

The 8th Ohio District Court of Appeals in Cleveland says the request by Gary Otte (OH'-tee) can't be raised under Ohio law or current federal court rulings. Gary Otte of IN is scheduled to be executed for two murders IN Parma IN 1992.