Robert Ladd was executed by the State of Texas for the murder of a woman in 1996. According to court documents Robert Ladd would beat, bound and set the woman, Vickie Ann Garner, on fire. Robert Ladd would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death. Robert Ladd would be executed on January 29, 2015 by lethal injection
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Texas death row inmate Robert Ladd man was executed this evening for the killing a 38-year-old woman nearly two decades ago while he was on parole for a triple slaying years earlier.
Robert Ladd, 57, received a lethal injection after the US Supreme Court rejected arguments he was mentally impaired and ineligible for the death penalty.
The court also rejected an appeal in which Ladd’s attorney challenged whether the pentobarbital Texas uses in executions is potent enough to not cause unconstitutional pain and suffering.
Ladd was put to death for the 1996 slaying of Vicki Ann Garner, of Tyler, who was strangled and beaten with a hammer. Her arms and legs were bound, bedding was placed between her legs, and she was set on fire in her apartment
In his final statement, Ladd addressed the sister of his victim by name, telling her he was ‘really, really sorry.’
‘I really, really hope and pray you don’t have hatred in your heart,’ he said, adding that he didn’t think she could have closure but hoped she could find peace. ‘A revenge death won’t get you anything,’ he said.
Then Ladd told the warden: ‘Let’s ride.’
As the drug took effect, he said: ‘Stings my arm, man!’ He began taking deep breaths, then started snoring. His snores became breaths, each one becoming less pronounced, before he stopped all movement.
He was pronounced dead at 7.02pm, 27 minutes after the drug was administered.
Teresa Garner Wooten, Vicki’s sister who was on hand Thursday to watch Ladd put to death, told CBS19 on the eve of the execution that it has been a long time coming.
‘I did not think, 18-plus years ago, that I would still be fighting for justice for her,’ Mrs Wooten said, adding that she had forgiven her sister’s killer.
Ladd came within hours of lethal injection in 2003 before a federal court agreed to hear evidence about juvenile records that suggested he was mentally impaired.
That appeal was denied and the Supreme Court last year turned down a review of Ladd’s case. His attorneys renewed similar arguments as his new execution date approached.
‘Ladd’s deficits are well documented, debilitating and significant,’ Brian Stull, a senior staff lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union Capital Punishment Project, told the high court.
In a press release sent out immediately after Ladd’s execution, Stull said that his death ‘is yet another example of how capital punishment routinely defies the rule of law and human decency.’
Kelli Weaver, a Texas attorney general, reminded the justices in a filing that ‘each court that has reviewed Ladd’s claim has determined that Ladd is not intellectually disabled.’
Ladd’s lawyers cited a psychiatrist’s determination in 1970 that Ladd, then a 13-year-old in custody of the Texas Youth Commission, had an IQ of 67.
Courts have embraced scientific studies that consider an IQ of 70 a threshold for impairment. The inmate’s attorneys also contended he long has had difficulties with social skills and functioning on his own.
Ladd also was a plaintiff in a lawsuit questioning the ‘quality and viability’ of Texas’ supply of its execution drug, pentobarbital. The Texas Attorney General’s Office called the challenge ‘nothing more than rank speculation.’
When he was arrested for Garner’s slaying, Ladd had been on parole for about four years after serving about a third of a 40-year prison term for the slayings of a Dallas woman and her two children. He pleaded guilty to those crimes.