The state of Texas has executed another man, but this is making headlines because of the inmate in question. Robert Ladd, 57, was convicted of brutally murdering a woman while he was on parole after already committing a triple murder. He left a lot of bodies in his wake over the course of his near 60 years alive, which is likely why a judge felt no sympathy for his low IQ when he was given the death penalty in the first place. The Huffington Post reports that Ladd died by lethal injection on Thursday night.
The controversy surrounding this execution has been present for quite some time. Ladd’s attorney’s fought to save him from the death penalty due to his low IQ, believing that he was too mentally impaired to be eligible. His attorney also fought against the punishment over the concern that the drugs used in the state of Texas may not have been potent enough to prevent a cruel and unusual death for the inmate. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected any presented arguments in favor of sparing him from death.
He had escaped execution once before, back in 2003, when a court agreed to look at juvenile records that indicated he had severe mental illness. However, it seems that the courts weren’t going to be so kind to him this time around, and the public response hasn’t been that sympathetic, either. Aside from the triple murder he committed many years before, the murder he committed in 1996 was especially gruesome. Her name was Vicki Ann Garner, and when her body was found she had been strangled and beaten to death with a hammer. She had been tied up and bedding was stuffed between her legs. She was left to burn in her apartment after it had been set ablaze.
A 2003 news report on the Victoria Advocate shares the gruesome details of the triple murder the preceded the slaying of Vicki Ann Garner, and the details of the case are so similar that there is little question to the possibility that Ladd would have continued killing women if he had never been caught. The victims of his previous crime were a woman and her young children. Like Vicki Ann Garner, this victim was bludgeoned and strangled. Bedding was wadded up between her legs and her home was set afire. Her children died in the blaze.
Do you think it was right for the state of Texas to execute a mentally incompetent man? He had been declared “mentally retarded” at least once before in his life, which is the argument used by his defense against the death penalty, but others have argued that his victims suffered fates so cruel that the death penalty is the least that he deserved.
[Photo credit: Texas Department of Corrections/NBC News]