Virginia executes its 100th inmate

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Virginia executes its 100th inmate

Post  Jennie on Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:23 pm

Virginia executes its 100th inmate

Virginia's 100th execution in modern times was carried out tonight.

Robert Stacy Yarbrough, 30, was pronounced dead at the Greensville Correctional Center at 9:28 p.m. He died by injection.

Yarbrough was sentenced to die for the May 8, 1997, capital murder of Mecklenburg County store owner Cyril H. Hamby, 77. Hamby was tied up and nearly decapitated with a knife during a robbery of the business he operated for more than 50 years.

Virginia is the 2nd state to execute 100 people since the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the death penalty to resume in 1976. Texas, with 406 executions, leads the country.

The 2 states account for nearly 1/2 of all executions carried out across the U.S. since 1976. Virginia's 100th was marked by about 30 protesters holding a vigil in a field in front of the rural prison last night.

At 9 p.m., the scheduled execution time, the protesters took turns ringing a bell for each person executed in Virginia.

Anne Gray, a Richmond Quaker, said she comes every time protesters try to fill the field in front of the prison. She was last there about 2 years ago. She said she doesn't know why more people didn't come last night. "It's not as many as I expected, and it's not as many as we've had before, but more than we usually have."

Yarbrough was the 72nd condemned man in Virginia to have selected injection since Jan. 1, 1995, when lethal injection became an option. Just 4 have chosen the electric chair.

Yarbrough's lawyers filed a clemency petition with Gov. Timothy M. Kaine and appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay of execution. Kaine declined to intervene, issuing a statement at 6:28 p.m. saying that he found no compelling reason to set aside the sentence. Earlier the high court had denied the appeal.

Larry Traylor, spokesman for the Virginia Department of Corrections, said that immediate family members of Hamby witnessed the execution. Traylor said Yarbrough visited with his immediate family members yesterday morning.

Yarbrough becomes the 2nd condemned inmate to be put to death in Virginia this year and the 100th since the state resumed capital punishment in 1982.

Yarbrough becomes the 9th condemned inmate to be put to death this year in the USA and the 1108th overall since the nation resumed executions on January 17, 1977.

(sources: Richmond Times-Dispatch & Rick Halperin)

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