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Every Death Row Prisoner Executed in the U.S. in 2022

Newsweek 12/26/2022 Khaleda Rahman
A file photo shows the Texas death chamber in Huntsville. Eighteen death row inmates were executed in 2022. © Joe Raedle/Getty Images A file photo shows the Texas death chamber in Huntsville. Eighteen death row inmates were executed in 2022.

Eighteen men were put to death in the U.S. in 2022.

This year was the eighth consecutive year with fewer than 30 executions, according to a report by the Death Penalty Information Center.

However, 2022 saw a record number of "botched" and failed executions, the report said, with seven of the 20 attempts to put inmates to death being visibly problematic.

Once again, executions were concentrated in the South. Texas and Oklahoma each executed five inmates, while Alabama put two inmates to death and Mississippi executed one. Arizona executed three inmates in 2022, while Missouri executed two.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey halted executions in November and ordered a "top-to-bottom" review of the state's capital punishment after the failed execution of Kenneth Smith—the second time in two months that the state had to call off an execution.

Here are all 18 people who were executed in 2022.

Donald Grant

Oklahoma executed Grant, 46, on January 27.

He was sentenced to death for the murder of two employees at a LaQuinta Inn in Del City during a robbery in 2001.

His final words were reported to be disjointed and incoherent. "Yo, God, I got this," Grant said, according to witnesses. "No medication. I didn't take nothing. Brooklyn for life."

Matthew Reeves

Alabama executed Reeves, 43, for a 1996 murder on January 27.

He was convicted of killing Willie Johnson Jr., a driver who gave Reeves and his friends a ride when their vehicle broke down.

Evidence showed Reeves went to a party afterward and celebrated the killing. Reeves remained silent during his execution at Holman Prison.

Gilbert Ray Postelle

Oklahoma executed Postelle, 35, on February 17.

He was sentenced to die for his involvement in the Memorial Day 2005 shooting deaths of James Alderson, Terry Smith, Donnie Swindle and Amy Wright at a home in southeast Oklahoma City.

Postelle's attorneys had argued that he should not be executed for various reasons, including a learning disability.

Carl Wayne Buntion

Texas executed Buntion, who at 78 was then the state's oldest death row inmate, on April 21.

Buntion had been out on parole when he fatally shot Houston police officer James Irby, 37, during a traffic stop in June 1990.

Buntion's attorneys had argued that his sentence should be commuted, describing him in a clemency petition as "a frail, elderly man who requires specialized care to perform basic functions."

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles voted against recommending that Gov. Greg Abbott grant Buntion clemency or a reprieve.

Carman Deck

Deck, 56, died by lethal injection at Missouri's state prison in Bonne Terre on May 3.

He was sentenced to death for killing a couple, James and Zelma Long, during a robbery at their rural home in 1996.

"My hope is that one day the world will find peace and that we all will learn to be kind and loving to one another," Deck said in a written final statement. "We all are a part of this journey through life, connected in every way. Please give love, show love, BE LOVE!"

Clarence Dixon

Arizona executed Dixon, 66, on May 11.

It was the state's first execution in nearly eight years after executions were suspended following the botched 2014 execution of Joseph Wood.

Dixon was sentenced to death for the killing of 21-year-old Arizona State University student Deana Bowdoin.

Prosecutors said Bowdoin had been raped, strangled and stabbed to death in her Tempe apartment in January 1978.

Frank Atwood

Arizona executed Atwood, 66, on June 8.

He was convicted of killing 8-year-old Vicki Lynne Hoskinson in 1984.

She went missing on September 17, 1984, while riding her bike in Tucson and her remains were discovered in the desert the following April.

Atwood's attorneys had asked courts to delay his execution, arguing that Atwood's degenerative spinal condition would make it excruciatingly painful for him to be strapped on his back to a gurney in the death chamber.

Joe Nathan James Jr.

James, 50, received a lethal injection in Alabama on July 28.

He was convicted and sentenced to death in the 1994 shooting death of his ex-girlfriend Faith Hall, 26, in Birmingham.

Hall's daughters, who were three and six when their mother was killed, had said they wanted James to serve life in prison rather than be put to death.

Officials took three hours to set an IV line before putting James to death. The Death Penalty Information Center called it "the longest botched lethal injection execution in U.S. history."

Kosoul Chanthakoummane

Chanthakoummane, 41, received a lethal injection in Texas on August 17.

He was sentenced to death for the killing of 40-year-old Sarah Walker, a suburban Dallas real estate agent, in 2006.

He used his final statement to thank Jesus Christ, ministers with the Texas prison system and "all these people in my life that aided me in this journey."

Chanthakoummane added: "To Mrs. Walker's family, I pray that my death will bring them peace," he said.

James Coddington

Coddington, 50, was executed at Oklahoma's state penitentiary on August 25.

He admitted to killing 73-year-old Albert Hale, a friend and co-worker who refused to loan him $50 to buy cocaine. Coddington beat Hale on the head at least three times with a hammer inside Hale's home in Choctaw in 1997.

He was the first of 25 death row inmates whose executions were scheduled after a federal judge upheld the state's lethal injection method in June.

John Henry Ramirez

Ramirez, 38, was executed in Texas on October 5.

He was sentenced to death for the 2004 killing of 46-year-old Pablo Castro, a convenience store clerk, in Corpus Christi.

His case clarified the role of spiritual advisors in death chambers. The U.S. Supreme Court sided with Ramirez in March when it ruled that states must accommodate death row inmates who want to have their faith leaders pray and touch them during their executions.

Ramirez's spiritual adviser Dana Moore placed his right hand on the inmate's chest during his execution, and held it there for the duration.

Benjamin Cole

Oklahoma executed Cole, 57, on October 20.

It went ahead despite claims from his attorneys that he was severely mentally ill.

Cole was sentenced to death in 2004 for the murdering his 9-month-old daughter, Brianna. Prosecutors said Cole bent her backward in her crib when her cries interrupted his video game, snapping her spine and tearing her aorta, in December 2002.

Tracy Beatty

Beatty, 61, was executed by Texas on November 9.

He was sentenced to death for the 2003 killing of his mother, Carolyn Click, after they argued in her East Texas home.

Beatty's execution went ahead despite his attorneys' arguing that he should not be put to death because of a history of mental illness.

"I don't want to leave you baby, see you when you get there. I love you," he said in his final statement, addressing his wife who watched the procedure through a window.

Murray Hooper

Hooper, 76, was executed in Arizona on November 16.

He was among three men convicted of murdering Patrick Redmond and his mother-in-law, Helen Phelps after forcing their way into the Redmond home in Phoenix on December 31, 1980. He maintained his innocence.

Media witnesses reported that during Hooper's execution, officials struggled to insert IV lines for 25 minutes and eventually had to insert one in his right leg by cutting into his femoral artery.

Stephen Barbee

Barbee, 55, was executed in Texas on November 16.

He was sentenced to death in 2006 for killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend Lisa Underwood, 34, and her 7-year-old son Jayden.

Barbee confessed to police that he killed Underwood and her son but later recanted, saying the confession was coerced, and maintained his innocence.

He talked about his faith in God in his final statement and said he hoped his execution would not be a sad moment for his family and friends, but did not mention Underwood or her son.

Richard Fairchild

Oklahoma executed Fairchild on November 17, his 63rd birthday.

Fairchild, an ex-Marine, received the lethal injection at Oklahoma's state penitentiary in McAlester for the 1993 killing of Adam Brookhall, his girlfriend's 3-year-old son.

"Today's a day for Adam, justice for Adam," Fairchild said while strapped to gurney in the death chamber.

"I'm at peace with God. Don't grieve for me because I'm going home to meet my heavenly father."

Kevin Johnson

Johnson, 37, was executed by the state of Missouri for the 2005 killing of police officer William McEntee.

He was put to death on November 29 despite his attorneys arguing that the case was tainted with racism and a special prosecutor filing a motion to vacate the death sentence.

Courts also declined to allow Johnson's 19-year-old duaghter, Corionsa "Khorry" Ramey, to witness the execution. She was the same age Johnson was when he committed the crime that led to his execution.

She had attempted to challenge a Missouri law that bars anyone under 21 from witnessing an execution, arguing that not being able to witness the final moments of her only living parent's life was a violation of her constitutional rights.

Thomas Loden Jr.

Loden, 58, was executed by lethal injection at the Mississippi State Penitentiary on December 14.

He had been on death row since 2001 after being convicted of the rape and murder of 16-year-old Leesa Marie Gray.

"For the past 20 years, I've tried to do a good deed every single day to make up for the life I took from this world," Loden said in his final statement.

"I know these are mere words and cannot erase the damage I did. If today brings you nothing else, I hope you get peace and closure."

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