On Thursday, Alabama executed a second incarcerated person this year.
Casey McWhorter, 49, was executed by the state via lethal injection for the 1993 murder and robbery of Edward Lee Williams Sr. at Holman Correctional Facility. McWhorter was 18 at the time he perpetrated the act. His time of death was 6:56 p.m., at 6:30 p.m. the curtain opened and at 6:47 p.m.the curtain closed.
The execution was allowed to proceed after a stay of execution that McWhorter and his attorney’s filed with the U.S. Supreme Court was denied at around noon Thursday.
Given the opportunity to provide any last words McWhorter said he loved his family and addressed the victim’s family saying he was sorry.
“I would like to say I love my mother and my family,” McWhorter said. “To the victim’s family, I’m sorry I hope you find peace.”
McWhorter also added that, “It’s not lost on me that a habitual abuser of women is carrying out this procedure.” That statement was in reference to the warden of Holman Correctional Facility, Terry Raybon, who has a history of abusing women prior to rising to the rank of warden.
Over the last 24 hours of his life McWhorter was visited by and spoke to members of his family, friends and his spiritual advisor. He denied most of his food throughout the his final day but accepted his last meal which was Turtles Candy.
Defense attorneys attempted to obtain a stay citing the unconstitutionality of giving someone under 19 the death sentence. McWhorter had just turned 18 three months prior to the time Edward was killed and in Alabama you’re not a legal adult until 19 years old. The attorney Edward was murdered after an attempted robbery by McWhorter, Edward Lee Williams Jr., son of Williams Sr., and Daniel Miner. In an interview with AL.com McWhorter said the elder Williams was not supposed to come back home as soon as he did that night in 1993 and everything “spiraled to hell.”
Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner Jon Q. Hamm spoke to the media following the execution where he read a letter from Williams Sr.’s daughter, April Williams. In the letter April expressed heartbreak over not getting the opportunity to have her dad for all of her milestones and to become a supportive grandfather to her children. It was also expressed that April was glad that McWhorter’s execution was taking place so she could close this “chapter” in her life.
Gilbert “Bert” Williams, spoke after Hamm saying “justice was served” although he felt it should have occurred sooner. Bert referred to McWhorter as a “murderous dog.”
“Although this man killed my brother in the most vicious, violent way he died in his sleep not more than an hour ago,” Bert said. “A peaceful death, to a murderous dog.”
Gov. Kay Ivey released a statement following the execution:
“Edward Lee Williams’ life was taken away from him at the hands of Casey A. McWhorter, and tonight, Mr. McWhorter answered for his actions. In February 1993 in Marshall County, Mr. McWhorter joined two others in ambushing and shooting to death Mr. Williams. After Mr. Williams was struck at least 11 times with .22 caliber rifles, each with makeshift silencers, Mr. McWhorter fired at least one round into Mr. Williams’ head to assure his death. Despite the fact that Mr. McWhorter managed to delay his date with justice for over three decades, his guilt of Mr. Williams’ premeditated robbery and murder was never in question. In Alabama, we uphold the rule of law and hold accountable those who take the lives of others. Casey McWhorter has finally paid for his heinous crime.”
McWhorter’s execution was the second held by the state following the moratorium imposed on the practice last year due to several botched attempts. In July, James Barber was killed by lethal injection. According to Hamm, it took one stick in both McWhorter’s left and right arms to access the veins for the injection.
In January, Alabama is arranging to become the first state to execute an individual using nitrogen hypoxia. Kenneth Eugene Smith is the person who the state will attempt to execute using the method and was one of the botched executions from last year. Experts have warned that using the gas could be potentially harmful to those administering the execution as well.