Ohio executes two-time murderer

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lethal injection chamber at San Quentin

Ohio inmate Clarence Carter, 49, was executed on Tuesday for beating to death a fellow prisoner in a jail house argument over what to watch on TV, the third inmate to be executed this year by the state.

He died at 10:25 a.m. by lethal injection at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, the second inmate in the U.S. executed using the surgical sedative pentobarbital as a stand-alone execution drug. He had been scheduled to die in 2007, but a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of lethal injection prevented his death sentence from being carried out at the time.

Carter was incarcerated at the Hamilton County Jail Annex in Cincinnati, Ohio, awaiting sentencing for the aggravated murder of Michael Hadnot, when he beat fellow inmate Johnny Allen in December 1988. Allen was jailed on a theft charge. Investigators said Carter beat, kicked, and chocked Allen over a 25 minute period. Carter had punched Allen earlier that month in a dispute over a TV channel. Allen died two weeks later from his injuries.

Prison officials reported that Carter was calm and seemed in good spirits the day before, visiting with his brother, his lawyers and two imams. He was reported to have eaten dates and tuna sandwiches as his last meal before being escorted to the execution chamber.

In the execution chamber he apologized to the family of his victim, stating, "I'd like to say I'm sorry for what I did, especially to his mother. I ask God for forgiveness and them for forgiveness."

Carter knelt and prayed briefly just before the execution.

His brother and a lawyer witnessed the execution on his behalf. No members of the victim's family were there.

Only two media representatives attended the execution, the lowest number since Ohio resumed the death penalty in 1999; five people protested outside the prison walls.