A man convicted of killing a police officer in 1997 was put to death Thursday by lethal injection, despite his claims that the state’s execution method was cruel and unusual.
Torrey Twane McNabb, 40, used his last statement to tell his mother and sister that he was unafraid and he cursed at the state, saying “I hate you. I hate you.”
As the procedure began, he raised his middle fingers before becoming still. He was pronounced dead at 9:38 p.m. CDT, authorities said.
McNabb was convicted of killing Montgomery police officer Anderson Gordon in 1997. Prosecutors say McNabb shot Gordon five times as the officer sat in his patrol car after arriving at a traffic accident McNabb caused while fleeing a bail bondsmen.
The U.S. Supreme Court delayed the execution for several hours to consider McNabb’s request for a stay, but ruled that the execution could go forward.
“Mom, sis, look at my eyes. I got no tears. I am unafraid. To the state of Alabama, I hate you. I hate you. I hate you,” McNabb said in his final statement.
McNabb’s attorneys had unsuccessfully sought to stop the execution since he is one of several inmates in an ongoing lawsuit challenging the humaneness of the state’s lethal injection procedure. The plaintiffs have argued that the sedative midazolam does not reliably render a person unconscious before subsequent drugs stop their lungs and heart. They point to an execution last December during which an Alabama inmate coughed and heaved for the first 13 minutes of the procedure.
A lawyer for McNabb has argued that it would be wrong to carry out the execution while proceedings continue in McNabb’s lawsuit.
The state argued that the inmates are unlikely to prevail in their claims since the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed other executions, including four in Alabama, to proceed using midazolam. The attorney general’s office argued McNabb had presented nothing new to justify a stay.