February 9th, 2011 Headsman
Minutes past midnight today, Central Daylight Time, Martin Link died by lethal injection at Missouri’s Bonne Terre state prison.
It’s just Missouri’s second execution since 2005, a marked decline from its five-per-year clip over the decade preceding.*
Condemned for raping and murdering an 11-year-old girl in 1991, Link “showed little willingness to fight the death penalty,” according to the Kansas City Star. (Not so little that he actually dropped appeals, mind.) He at least once attempted suicide in prison.
In common with many present-day U.S. executions, Link’s was also shaped by the nationwide shortage of sodium thiopental, one of the essential drugs in the traditional lethal injection cocktail.
(It’s an anesthetic, the first of three drugs administered and used for the purpose of inducing rapid unconsciousness so the other two can get to the killing business … though the sodium thiopental dose is itself potentially lethal, and some states have experimented with lethal injections using only that one drug.)
While other thiopental-scarce jurisdictions have moved towards alternative chemicals and injection procedures, Missouri did a classic three-drug injection using some of its dwindling stockpile — which was due to expire on March 1, anyway. What the plan might be for the next Show-Me State execution, whenever that might be, nobody seems ready to say. If recent trends are any indication, they’ve got plenty of time to work it out.
The chemical compounds, no doubt, were the last things on the minds of those directly concerned. Both the victim’s family and the investigating police officers reportedly planned to observe the procedure with some satisfaction.
“It was such a horrendous crime,” one of the officers told a reporter. “I’ve got a picture of that in my mind right now … of seeing the little girl and everything. It’s kind of hard to put it out of your mind.”
* Stats per the Death Penalty Information Center’s very handy execution database.
On this day..
- 1883: Milton Yarberry, Marshal of Albuquerque - 2017
- 2015: Liu Han, former tycoon - 2016
- 1887: Clement Arthur Day - 2015
- 1943: The last five Young Guards shot in Krasnodon - 2015
- c. 415 B.C.E.: The men of Melos - 2014
- Podcast: One For Ten - 2013
- 2013: Afzal Guru, India parliament attack terrorist - 2013
- 1555: John Hooper - 2012
- 1619: Lucilio Vanini, aka Giulio Cesare - 2010
- 1929: José de León Toral, assassin of Álvaro Obregón - 2009
- 1963: Abd al-Karim Qasim, Iraqi Prime Minister - 2008
Entry Filed under: 21st Century,Capital Punishment,Common Criminals,Crime,Death Penalty,Disfavored Minorities,Execution,Kidnapping,Lethal Injection,Missouri,Murder,Racial and Ethnic Minorities,Rape,Ripped from the Headlines,USA