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Alabama killer executed for brutal homicide of driver in 1996

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The Alabama killer who was executed Thursday by deadly injection for a 1996 homicide remained silent throughout the process at Holman Prison.

Matthew Reeves, 43, was convicted of capital homicide for murdering a driver who gave him a trip in 1996. Willie Johnson, the sufferer, died from a shotgun blast to the neck throughout the theft. He picked up Reeves, 18 on the time, who was on the aspect of the street. Proof confirmed he went to a celebration afterward and celebrated the killing with blood nonetheless on his arms.


He was pronounced {dead} at 9:35 p.m. native time. The Related Press reported that he craned his neck to look a couple of instances across the demise chamber and grimaced and regarded towards his left arm towards the intravenous line. “Along with his eyes closed and mouth barely agape, Reeves’ stomach moved repeatedly earlier than he grew nonetheless.”

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This undated picture supplied by the Alabama Division of Corrections exhibits demise row inmate Matthew Reeves. Reeves was condemned for killing a person throughout a theft in 1996. (Alabama Division of Corrections through AP)
(Alabama Division of Corrections through AP)

There was a last-minute combat by his legal professionals searching for to cease the execution concerned his mind, his rights underneath federal incapacity legislation and the way the state deliberate to kill him. Reeves claimed he had mental disabilities that prevented him from understanding the shape providing him the possibility to decide on nitrogen hypoxia — a way by no means used within the U.S. — over deadly injection, which the inmate’s legal professionals known as “torturous.”


The sun sets behind Holman Prison in Atmore, Ala., on Thursday, Jan., 27, 2022, as the U.S. Supreme Court considered whether to allow the execution of death row inmate Matthew Reeves, convicted of killing a man during a robbery in 1996. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves)

The solar units behind Holman Jail in Atmore, Ala., on Thursday, Jan., 27, 2022, because the U.S. Supreme Court docket thought-about whether or not to permit the execution of demise row inmate Matthew Reeves, convicted of killing a person throughout a theft in 1996. (AP Photograph/Jay Reeves)
(AP Photograph/Jay Reeves)

Reeves additionally claimed the state failed to assist him perceive the shape. However the state argued he wasn’t so disabled that he could not perceive the selection. A poor reader and intellectually disabled, Reeves is not able to making such a call with out help that ought to have been supplied underneath the American With Disabilities Act, his legal professionals argued. A jail employee who gave Reeves a type did not provide support to assist him perceive, they stated.

With Reeves contending he would have chosen nitrogen hypoxia over a “torturous” deadly injection had he comprehended the shape, the protection filed swimsuit asking a court docket to halt the deadly injection. U.S. District Decide R. Austin Huffaker, Jr. blocked execution plans, ruling that Reeves had a great probability of profitable the declare underneath the disabilities legislation.

A protection skilled concluded Reeves had a first-grade studying degree and the language competency of somebody as younger as 4, however the state disagreed that Reeves had a incapacity that will forestall him from understanding his choices.

An Alabama inmate who was put to demise by deadly injection final 12 months, Willie B. Smith, unsuccessfully raised claims about being intellectually unable to make the selection for nitrogen hypoxia.

Stavros Lambrinidis, the European Union ambassador to the U.S., had despatched a letter each condemning Johnson’s killing and asking the governor Ivey to dam the execution.

The Related Press contributed to this report

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