KENTUCKY (USA): INMATE DIES WHILE WAITING FOR EXECUTION
November 19, 2009:
A death row inmate who once played a role in a controversial Benetton clothing advertising campaign featuring condemned inmates has died 27 years after being sentenced to death.
David Leroy Skaggs was one of 26 death row inmates from across the U.S. to be featured in a $20 million ad campaign by the Italian clothing manufacturer in 2000.
The Benetton ads featured an inmate's picture, date of birth, crime, and expected method of execution on a poster. The inmates were all wearing uniforms and the phrase "Sentenced to Death" written across the photo.
Skaggs, 59, died just before 3 a.m Wednesday at the Kentucky State Reformatory in LaGrange after being transferred from the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville. Kentucky Department of Corrections spokeswoman Lisa Lamb said Skaggs died from complications related to cancer.
Skaggs was sentenced to death in 1982 for the robbery and shooting deaths of an elderly couple a year earlier. Skaggs won a new sentencing hearing after a federal court found his lawyers erred and was sentenced to die a second time in 2002.
The Benetton and posters featured comments from the inmates about different subjects such as their childhood and their dreams, but no information about their victims.
The ad campaign and outcry from prosecutors' and victims rights advocates resulted in the state of Missouri suing Benetton and Sears canceling its contract to sell the designer's clothing. (Sources: Ap, 19/11/09)