2006: Rocky Barton, suicidal

On this date in 2006, Ohio murderer Rocky Barton died by lethal injection for murdering his wife.

Say this for Barton: the experience of failed marriages had not jaded him on the institution. When his fourth wife, Kimbirli Jo, proposed to leave him, he was distraught enough to shoot her dead in a fit of passion, and then turn the gun on himself, too. “I couldn’t stand the thought of living without her,” he explained.

And say this, too: he wasn’t one for any special pleading.

“”It was an act of anger. Evidently it was not too thought out or I wouldn’t be where I am today,” he told a reporter just days before his execution. “I strongly believe in the death penalty. And for the ruthless, cold-blooded act that I committed, if I was sitting over there [in the jury box], I’d hold out for the death penalty.”

Voluntarily dropping his appeals, he spent less than three years on the “greased lightning” track to the Ohio gurney, only some 42 months overall from murder to execution. Kimbirli’s daughter, and Rocky’s stepdaughter, got a special release from a county jail where she was serving a drug sentence to witness the execution.

His suicide attempt, though unsuccessful, required “four surgeries to insert pins, wires and screws to hold his eyes in their sockets and the cadaver’s jaw to replace his shattered one,” and hundreds of thousands in public expenses to post special guard details for said reconstructive surgeries.