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  Connecticut Carries Out Its First Execution in 45 Years
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Last EditedNone Entered  May 13, 2005 08:42pm
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MediaNewspaper - New York Times
News DateFriday, May 13, 2005 06:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionConnecticut carried out its first execution in 45 years early today, administering a lethal injection to Michael Bruce Ross, a convicted serial killer who abandoned his appeals and died willingly after 18 years on death row.

About 300 death penalty opponents held vigil in the cold and dark outside the rural complex of state prisons where a warden led Mr. Ross to the execution chamber and an unidentified executioner began administering a lethal injection into his arm shortly after the scheduled 2:01 a.m. execution time.

"Death occurred at 2:25 a.m. on this day," Christine Whidden, the warden of one of the prisons, Robinson Correctional Institution, announced five minutes afterwards.

Mr. Ross, 45, had sought that fatal moment for nearly a year.

In defiance of public defenders and others who wanted to save him, he chose to forgo further appeals of his death sentence last year. He said he wanted to ease the pain of the families of the eight teenage girls and young women he strangled in the early 1980's. He raped most of his victims.

A graduate of Cornell University and a former life insurance salesman, Mr. Ross convinced judges he was competent, smirked at psychiatrists who said he was suicidal and often seemed exasperated by his inability to reshape his image.

"I am not an animal," he once wrote.

In the final moments before his execution on Friday morning, however, he did not attempt to explain himself. He kept his eyes closed and never looked through the glass at those witnessing his death.
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