A death row inmate’s defiant final words this week left no doubt about the contempt he felt for civilized society.
J.W. Ledford, 45, was sentenced to death for the murder of his neighbor, Harry Johnston, 75, in Murray County, Georgia. He was put to death by lethal injection on Wednesday.
Warden Eric Sellers told witnesses that when Ledford was given the opportunity to make a final statement, he quoted lines from the move “Cool Hand Luke.”
“What we have here is a failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach,” Ledford said, according to The Associated Press. “I am not the failure. You are the failure to communicate.”
“You can kiss my white trash a**,” he said.
Ledford told police he went to Johnston’s home on Jan. 31, 1992, to ask for a ride to the grocery store. Johnston reportedly accused Ledford of stealing and hit him. Ledford pulled out a knife and stabbed Johnston to death. The pathologist who conducted Johnston’s said he bled to death from “one continuous or two slices to the neck,” according to the AP.
After dragging Johnson’s body to another part of the property and burying him, Ledford returned to Johnston’s house and demanded money from Johnston’s wife, the AP reported. Ledford tied up Johnston’s wife and took money and four guns from their home. Police arrested Ledford later that day.
Ledford told authorities he had smoked marijuana and consumed several beers before the going to Johnston’s house.
Ledford was Georgia’s first inmate execution this year in Georgia, The Washington Post reported.
The Post also reported that Ledford’s petition for clemency was denied on Monday, despite appeals from his family who argued that his intellectual disability, history of an abusive father and using drugs and alcohol explained why Ledford committed the crime.
It’s hard to imagine what goes through the mind of someone facing death by lethal injection, as Ledford quoting Hollywood movie lines indicates.
But from the rest of what he said, it’s easy to see how he felt about the rest of us.
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H/T U.K. Daily Mail