Morris Mason was executed by the State of Virginia for the sexual assault and murder of an elderly woman. According to court documents Morris Mason would sexually assault, murder and then set the house on fire of the elderly victim. Morris Mason who was a serial rapist would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death. Morris Mason would be executed by way of the electric chair on June 25 1985
Morris Mason More News
Morris Mason, convicted in a 1978 crime spree, went calmly and silently to his death in the electric chair after efforts to block the execution because of his mental impairment failed.
Mason, a 32-year-old laborer, was led to the basement death chamber at the state penitentiary about four hours after the U.S. Supreme Court denied a final appeal, said prison spokeswoman Kathi King. He made no statement.
He was pronounced dead at 11:07 p.m. Tuesay, Ms. King said.
Mason was convicted of raping and murdering Margaret K. Hand, 71, who was beaten to death. Her hand was nailed to a chair and her house was set afire.
He also confessed to raping and murdering another elderly woman, raping a 12-year-old girl and maiming her 13-year-old sister, a two-week string of acts he said were prompted by voices ″telling me to destroy something, tear up something.″
The Supreme Court voted 7-2 Tuesday night against granting a stay, the fourth time justices declined to hear an appeal.
Mason’s lawyer, J. Lloyd Snook, had contended in appeals that Mason’s IQ of 66, or mildly retarded, and paranoid schizophrenia made the death penalty inappropriate. In IQ of 90 to 109 is normal.
He said Mason had the mind of a child and was unaware he was about to die.
″In my opinion, he knew all the time what was going on,″ said Toni Bair, warden of Mecklenburg Correctional Center. ″He was totally calm, very coherent, calm.″
Snook said Mason appeared ″quiet, nervous. He didn’t have a whole lot to say. He was determined to be strong.″
″The last thing he said to me was ‘Warden, I gave you my word that I would go out strong, and I’m going out strong.’ He told me that twice,″ Bair said.
Almost 200 death penalty advocates gathered outside the prison. They cheered loudly at word the execution had been carried out.
About 100 anti-death penalty protestors staged a quiet candlelight vigil.
Gov. Charles S. Robb, Mason’s last hope for a reprieve, declined to intervene, despite a telephoned appeal from an aide to U.S. Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., chairman of the House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice.
Conyers aide Julian Epstein spoke with Robb on the congressman’s behalf.
″We have been very disturbed over the whole pattern of racial discrimination ,″ he said in a telephone interview from Conyers’ Washington, D.C., office. Mason was black.
″We don’t get involved in every case, but this one seems to stand out,″ Epstein said.
He said Conyers agreed with Snook that Mason should have had an independent mental evaluation before being sentenced.
Mason’s was the third execution in the last eight months in Virginia and the fourth since the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for the death penalty in 1976.