Chadwick Banks was executed by the State of Florida for a double murder. According to court documents Chadwick Banks would shoot and kill his wife before sexually assaulting and murdering his 10 year old stepdaughter. Chadwick Banks was arrested, convicted and sentenced to death. Chadwick Banks would be executed by lethal injection on November 12, 2014
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Chadwick Banks, convicted in the 1992 murder of his wife and stepdaughter, said he was sorry to a room of 19 witnesses before he was executed Thursday night at Florida State Prison.
“I would like to apologize to the following families who I hurt and disappointed by my actions 22 years ago,” Banks said during a brief statement, listing five families including his and the victims’. Banks prayed as he was given a series of lethal injection drugs.
“I am very sorry for the hurt and pain I have caused you all, all of these years. Year after year I have tried to come up with a reasonable answer to my actions, but how could such acts be reasonable?” he said.
Banks, a Gadsden County man whose family has deep connections to the rural community, shot his wife Cassandra Banks and 10-year-old Melody Cooper in the early morning hours of Sept. 24, 1992.
anks, who was 21 at the time, confessed to shooting the two with a .32-caliber revolver the next day after their bodies were found by a family member. Cassandra Banks, 30, was found in her bed; Melody was kneeling on the floor facing her own bed.
During his statement he said that his mind was no longer befogged, “and I am a different person.”
The execution began at 7:10 p.m., after which Banks closed his eyes and began to breath deeply. A team warden conducted a consciousness check by touching his eyelash and shaking his shoulders. Banks did not appear to make any movements following the check. He was pronounced dead at 7:27 p.m.
Florida uses a three-drug mixture to execute prisoners: midazolam hydrochloride, vecuronium bromide and potassium chloride, which are administered intravenously. The series is intended to first render the prisoner unconsciousness, then paralyzed and finally induce cardiac arrest
Banks, 43, had 14 visitors Thursday including his parents, his siblings, a friend and his spiritual adviser. Department of Corrections spokeswoman Jessica Cary said none of his family attended the execution.
He was convicted in 1994 of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of sexual battery on a child under 12 after pleading no contest and was sentenced to death for the 10-year-old’s murder.
Banks’ two efforts to appeal his sentence were denied. Gov. Rick Scott signed his death warrant Sept. 22, almost 22 years to the day of the crimes.
Chadwick Banks is the 20th person executed since Scott took office in 2011 and the eight this year. He is the 89th prisoner executed since 1979, following the reinstatement of the death penalty in Florida.
Annette Black, Cassandra Banks’ mother and Melody’s grandmother, said the 22-year wait for justice has made the deaths of two generations of her family a tough subject to talk about. She was joined by several other family members including her 89-year-old husband Rutherford, son Rutherford Black Jr. and daughter Gail Black.
“Today was the culmination of the act that occurred over 22 years ago and it’s been very devastating to both our families,” Black said following the execution. “It’s a pain that cannot be erased.”
She added that Banks’ statement resonated with her.
Cary said Chadwick Banks ate his final meal of fried fish, homemade French fries, hush puppies, old-fashioned dinner rolls, homemade banana pudding, red velvet cake, butter pecan ice cream and a glass of ice water. He was served the meal about 10 a.m. Thursday.
“His demeanor was calm, and he ate most of his meal,” she said.
The execution was also attended by Gadsden County Sheriff Morris Young, reserve deputy Tommy Mills and GCSO Maj. James Morgan.
“The families of Cassandra Banks and Melody Cooper have had to carry this burden for 22 years. Our hearts and prayer certainly go out to them as they have had to relive the reality of losing love ones,” Young said in a statement. “Although Chad Banks confessed, apologized and has faced his penalty his family is also grieving tonight. We certainly want to also pray for their strength as they deal with their loss. We will forever remember the victims in this case and continue to pray for healing for the families and our community.”