EXECUTION

D.C. Sniper Declined Last Words

D.C.-area sniper John Allen Muhammad was executed at 9:11 p.m. Tuesday, the long-awaited conclusion of a three-week killing spree that left 10 dead in 2002. Though Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine opposes the death penalty, he declined to commute Muhammad's sentence (requested by lawyers who claimed mental illness), saying he had a duty to abide Virginia's extant penal code. Muhammad requested a final meal but did not release the menu to the public; he declined to visit with a spiritual adviser; he also declined to choose his method of death, and died by lethal injection as a default. He reportedly "showed no emotion in the death chamber. When the curtain opened, his head was tilted to the right, and his eyes were closed. Asked whether he wanted to say anything, he did not respond." Though the sniper attacks spread across Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., Muhammad and his teenage accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo, were prosecuted in Virginia precisely for its harsh stance on murder.