LUCASVILLE, Ohio — Ohio on Wednesday executed a man for fatally stabbing the 15-year-old son of his former employers during a 1985 farmhouse burglary, marking the state’s first execution in six months and signaling a possible return to Ohio’s status as one of the country’s busiest death penalty states.
Forty-nine-year-old Mark Wiles died by lethal injection at 10:42 a.m., ending an unofficial moratorium on the death penalty that occurred while the state and a federal judge wrangled over Ohio’s lethal injection procedures.
It was the 47th execution since Ohio resumed putting inmates to death in 1999, and the state has 11 more executions scheduled, including June, July, September and November.
Wiles, looking haggard with a sparse, cropped gray beard and shaven head, stared at witnesses for a few moments when he entered the death chamber. A few minutes later, strapped to the gurney and IV lines inserted into his arms, he raised his head and looked at witnesses again.
“Since this needs to be happening, truly I pray that my dying brings some solace and closure to the Klima family and their loved ones,” he said.
He also thanked his family for their love and support.
“Finally, the state of Ohio should not be in the business of killing its citizens,” Wiles concluded, reading a statement that the warden held over his head. “May God bless us all that fall short.”
As the lethal sedative began flowing, Wiles nodded, appeared to be speaking, swallowed, spoke again, then gasped a few moments later. Wiles’ stomach rose and fell several times and his head moved slightly, then his mouth fell open and he lay still for several minutes before he was pronounced dead.