Alabama Execution: Groups Thought Murderer Was Mentally Ill

Image: Alabama Execution: Groups Thought Murderer Was Mentally Ill

Friday, 26 Jul 2013 12:51 PM

By Newsmax Wires

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Alabama went through with the execution of Andrew Reid Lackey on Thursday, a convicted murderer whom advocates said was mentally ill. It was the state's first execution since 2011.

Lackey, 29, died by lethal injection at Holman Prison in Atmore, Ala., according to Reuters.

He was convicted of killing Charlie Newman, an 80-year-old World War II veteran in Athens, Ala.

Lackey made no statement before his execution, according to prison officials. He was pronounced dead at 6:25 p.m. CDT.

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Newman's grandson had told Lackey that his grandfather had a vault filled with gold bars, according to court documents.

On a 911 recording from Newman's home, the veteran's last words were, "Come sit down and let me pray for you." He was trying to calm Lackey, who was a close friend of his grandson, according to court records.

On the recording, Lackey could be heard asking for the location of the vault.

The Equal Justice Initiative, a Montgomery-based prisoners' rights group, argued that Lackey was mentally ill and had attempted suicide. He "lives in Andrew land," and takes multiple psychotropic drugs, the group said in a statement before the execution.

Even though he had not exhausted his legal appeals, according to court records, Lackey wrote to the Alabama Supreme Court last year requesting that his death sentence be carried out.

The prisoners' rights group went to court to stop the execution. It argued that the judge should have properly evaluated Lackey's mental competency before permitting him to waive his appeals, but an appeals court allowed the judge's ruling to stand.

Bryan Stevenson, the Equal Justice Initiative's director, said on Thursday that a family member had intervened on Lackey's behalf to expedite the execution.

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Related stories:

Texas' 500th Execution Carried Out With Lethal Drug

Florida Execution Carried Out 33 Years After Girl Kidnapped, Killed

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