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Wayne Eugene Ritter - Alabama Execution - August 28, 1987
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Thread: Wayne Eugene Ritter - Alabama Execution - August 28, 1987

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    Wayne Eugene Ritter - Alabama Execution - August 28, 1987

    Summary of Offense: Convicted of murder for taking part in a robbery in 1977 at a Mobile pawn shop in which an accomplice killed the owner.

    Victim: Edward Nassar

    Time of Death: 12:18 a.m.

    Manner of execution: Electric Chair

    Last Meal:

    Final Statement: Mr. Ritter declined to make a final statement. Mr. Ritter smiled broadly and gave a thumbs-up sign to the prison chaplain, Joseph Kolb, after he was strapped into the yellow electric chair at Holman Prison.

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    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    August 28, 1987


    An Alabama inmate who asked jurors in his trial to impose the death penalty, then told his lawyers to stop their last-ditch appeals, was electrocuted today, the first of four executions scheduled around the nation on the same day.

    The Alabama man, Wayne Eugene Ritter, 33 years old, who was convicted in the 1977 murder-robbery of a pawnbroker, was pronounced dead at 12:18 A.M., minutes after current was sent pulsing through his body, said John Hale, a state Corrections Department spokesman.

    Mr. Ritter, who once demanded the death penalty even though he was not the triggerman in a robbery-murder, gave up his fight for a stay and awaited execution after Gov. Guy Hunt of Alabama declined to commute his sentence to life.

    Despite Mr. Ritter's wishes that his attorneys drop the case, it was taken to the United States Supreme Court, which did not act in time to prevent his execution. The 3 Other Executions

    Meanwhile, in Utah, Pierre Dale Selby was to die by lethal injection after 1 A.M., while in Florida, Beauford White, 41, and Gerald Stano, 35, were to be electrocuted at 7 A.M. and 1 P.M. Both Florida inmates had been scheduled to die Wednesday but won reprieves.

    The execution of a Georgia inmate, William Mitchell, 35, also set for today, was postponed until Tuesday because, the authorities said, his and three other appeals would go before the same Federal appeals court in Atlanta.

    Mr. Ritter became the 20th inmate executed in the United States this year. The most to die by execution in any year since the landmark 1976 Supreme Court decision that allowed resumption of capital punishment was 21, in 1984.

    In the only day with more than one execution since 1976, there were two executions July 8, one in Texas and one in Mississippi.

    Mr. Ritter ''believed he didn't have a chance to obtain a stay in the Supreme Court so he preferred not to spend his last hours on that question,'' said his attorney, David Bagwell.

    Earlier yesterday, the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta refused to grant Mr. Ritter a stay of execution, and Gov. Hunt declined the plea for commutation.


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