EXECUTED - James Earl Reed - South Carolina Death Row - Scheduled Execution
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Start : Friday 20 June 2008, 20:00
End : Friday 20 June 2008, 20:00
James Earl Reed South Carolina Scheduled Execution

EXECUTED 11:27pm

James Earl Reed - South Carolina Death Row - Scheduled Execution for June 20, 2008

Victims: Joseph and Barbara Lafayette

The Crime: James Earl Reed, 48, was convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend’s parents in Charleston County. Prosecutors said Reed killed Joseph and Barbara Lafayette in their Adams Run home in 1994 while he was looking for his ex-girlfriend.

News: The South Carolina Department of Corrections executed James Earl Reed on Friday, June 20, 2008 in their electric chair. He was pronounced dead at 11:27pm. Just minutes prior to his scheduled date with death at 6:00pm, Reed's execution was delayed when a federal court granted a reprieve pending the outcome of a last minute appeal. The US Supreme Court denied his final appeal and the execution was then able to be carried out.

Reed, who had been on death row since 1996 for the murders of his ex-girlfriend's parents Joseph and Barbara Lafayette in their Charleston County home two years earlier had dropped his appeals. Reed had one federal appeal left which was denied by the Supreme Court late into the night. James Earl Reed is the first person electrocuted in South Carolina's electric chair in more than four years. The last electrocution in the United States was on September 12th of 2007 when the state of Tennessee executed Daryl Holton for the murders of his children.

Reed represented himself during his trial arguing that there was no physical evidence linking him to the murders. The prosecutors presented a confession and three eyewitnesses who testified that they saw him leave the house and drive away in the victims' car after shots were heard. The jury took 30 minutes to deliberate and returned with a guilty verdict. Reed requested an attorney to represent him during the sentencing phase of his trial and his request was denied. In 2003, Reed requested to drop all his appeals and be executed A letter sent to the Associated Press in 2003, Reed wrote, "I am standing upon my word that this case be dismiss or I be killed."

Currently there are eight states that still use the electric chair for executions and all them them offer lethal injection as an alternative. In South Carolina inmates have a choice of the electric chair or lethal injection. James Earl Reed chose to die in the electric chair which has prompted much debate on internet blogging sites such as the Pro Death Penalty Information Community.

There are at least twenty-three scheduled executions nationwide for the remainder of 2008. The next inmate scheduled for execution is Robert Yarbrough in Virginia on June 25, 2008 for the murder and robbery of Cyril Hugh Hamby, age 77.

Last Meal: Inmate did not request a last meal

Final Statement: Inmate made no final statement

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