Humphries dies by lethal injection - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Humphries dies by lethal injection

(Columbia) December 2, 2005 - South Carolina has executed the 1,001st person to die since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976.

Shawn Humphries died by lethal injection for shooting and killing convenience store clerk Mendal Alton "Dickie" Smith in Greenville County on New Year's Day 1994.

The execution took place at the Broad River Correctional Institution Friday evening. Humphries was pronounced dead at 6:18pm.

Eyewitnesses say it was a tearful execution. They say at one point, Humphries looked over at the victim's two sisters and mouthed that he was sorry.

One of Smith's sisters nodded in response. It appeared that a tear rolled down Humphries' cheek after the exchange.

Smith's sister, Kathy Smith Carpenter, says she appreciates the apology. She says it was "the greatest gift that I could have ever received."

The victim's widow said she couldn't watch the execution and walked out of the viewing area.

Humphries' attorney Teresa Norris read a one-and-a-half-page handwritten statement from the death chamber before the execution.

In it, Humphries apologized for the killing and used Bible verses to criticize the death penalty. He wrote, "I hope that my execution brings the Smith family some peace. But now I want to say something to everyone who supports this or any execution. We are all sinners, so what gives you the right as a sinner to take away a gift that God gave"?

He ended the letter with the words: "In Christ's Love, Shawn Paul Humphries."

There were several protestors outside opposing the death penalty, saying that in Humphries' case, the punishment didn't fit the crime.

Earlier Friday in North Carolina, Kenneth Lee Boyd became the one 1,000th person executed.

Humphries is the third person executed in South Carolina this year. He is the 35th inmate put to death in the state since capital punishment was restored.

Reported by Tamara King with AP

Updated 9:15pm by Bryce Mursch

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