John Allen Muhammad, whose terrorist acts kept the D.C. area frozen in absolute terror in 2002, was executed in Virginia Tuesday night.
But for some of the family and friends of those gunned down during a 23-day killing spree that left 10 dead and 17 wounded, Muhammad’s execution did not fully satisfy. They contend that Lee Boyd Malvo, Muhammad’s the teen accomplice who is serving a life sentence for his role in the murders, should have been administered a lethal cocktail as well.
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"Well, myself, I wish Malvo was right there beside Muhammad," said execution witness Steven Moore, whose sister, FBI analyst Linda Franklin, was shot dead in Virginia. "They both committed the same crimes. No, I don't feel any closure. I mean, it's ... it ... nothing changes."
Speaking on CNN’s “Larry King Live,” Bob Meyers, whose brother, Dean, was shot to death while pumping gas in northern Virginia, said he had come to forgive Muhammad and Malvo.
"Watching the life be sapped out of somebody intentionally was very different and an experience I'd never had," he said. "I'd watched my mother die of natural causes, but that was very different." It was difficult to find closure, he said, because “that pretty much was overcome just by the sadness that the whole situation generates in my heart. That he would get to the place where he did what he did, and that it had to come to this. … One, God calls for me [forgive] in the Bible and the second thing is related to that. If I don't, it rots me from the inside out. It doesn't really hurt John Muhammad or anybody that I have bitterness against."
Muhammad, 48, was officially declared dead at 9:11 p.m. (ET), Larry Traylor, a spokesman for the Virginia Department of Corrections, said outside of the Greenville Correctional Center in Jarratt, Va. "There were no complications. Mr. Muhammad was asked if he wished to make a last statement. He did not acknowledge this or make a last statement whatsoever."
While Muhammad was silent from the time he entered the death chamber, a statement read by his attorneys proclaimed his innocence until the end.
"Mr. Muhammad maintains his innocence in this case, and he always has. He is not remorseful, although he does extend his condolences to the families,” said J. Wyndal Gordon, Muhammad's stand-by attorney in his Maryland trial, in which he represented himself. “What these families went through is tragic in every level. Given the injustices in this case, what Mr. Muhammad went through is equally as tragic."
Paul Ebert, the prosecutor from Virginia who convinced the court that Muhammad should be executed, said, "He died very peacefully, much more than most of his victims. "I felt a sense of closure, and I hope that they did, too."
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