A man who shot and killed a policeman trying to arrest him for a double murder said he held "no grudges" before being put to death in the electric chair in Arkansas' first execution in 26 years.
John Edward Swindler, 46, was pronounced dead at 9:05 p.m. Monday, three minutes after being given 2,300 volts of electricity in the big oak chair.Arkansas became the 14th state to carry out an execution and Swindler the 130th inmate put to death since the U.S. Supreme Court in 1976 let states resume capital punishment.
Swindler was condemned for the 1976 murder of Fort Smith policeman Randy Basnett, who was shot at a gas station while trying to arrest Swindler for two murders in South Carolina. Swindler was later convicted of those slayings as well.
The U.S. Supreme Court denied a stay on Saturday.
In final remarks dictated in his cell to Roman Catholic Monsignor John O'Donnell, Swindler said: "I have no animosity toward anyone. No grudges.
"I hope this brings to light the injustice of capital punishment and the need to abolish it," he said.
Swindler's body was to be turned over to O'Donnell for cremation. Swindler's family didn't want the body.
"He has professed that he believes in Satan, and I hope he gets to see him real soon," his brother, Robert E. Swindler of Lexington, S.C., said recently.