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Apologetic Vietnam vet executed for killing spree

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POTOSI, Mo. (Reuters) — A Vietnam War veteran who blamed his 1991 shooting rampage on wartime flashbacks was executed Wednesday in a case that became an issue in the confirmation hearing of U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft.

James Johnson, 52, was executed by lethal injection at 12:06 a.m. CST at Potosi Correctional Center, a prison spokesman said.

His last words consisted of an apology to survivors of his victims.

"I know that I caused irreparable damage to each surviving family member," Johnson said. "I earnestly pray for your forgiveness."