ALABAMA (USA): TOMMY ARTHUR, 75, EXECUTED
May 26, 2017:
Tommy Arthur, 75, White, was pronounced dead at 12:15 a.m. local time Friday after a lethal injection, authorities said. (Source: voanews.com, Associated Press, 26/05/2017)
A man once called the “Houdini” of Alabama’s death row for escaping seven execution dates through legal challenges was put to death early Friday for a 1982 murder-for-hire shooting.
Arthur was convicted of killing Troy Wicker, who was fatally shot as he slept in his bed. Wicker’s wife, Judy, initially told police she came home and was raped by a black man who shot and killed her husband.
After her conviction, she changed her story and testified she had discussed killing her husband with Arthur, who came to the house in makeup and an Afro-style wig and shot her husband.
She said she paid him $10,000. Arthur was in a prison work-release program at the time for the 1977 slaying of his sister-in-law, a crime he admits to committing. His first two convictions in the Wicker case were overturned, but the third one, handed out on December 5, 1991, was not.
The state set seven execution dates for Arthur between 2001 and 2016. All were delayed as a pro bono legal team fought his sentence.
Arthur, in a round of phone calls to reporters earlier this week, maintained he’s innocent in the Wicker shooting. Arthur becomes the 1st inmate to be put to death this year in Alabama, the 59th overall since the state resumed capital punishment in 1983, the 12th to be put to death this year in the USA and the 1454nd overall since the nation resumed executions in 1977.