first man to be executed in Texas using a single lethal drug
A man who once bragged that his kidnapping and execution-style murder of a Dallas area stockbroker 'made headlines,' will make some headlines again tonight. Yokamon Hearn of Dallas is set to become the first person in the long history of the Texas death penalty to be executed by lethal injection using only one drug.
1200 WOAI news reports Hearn, 33, will be put to death using the drug pentobarbital, which is most commonly used by veterinarians to euthanize pets.
Since the death penalty was restored in 1982, Texas has injected condemned inmates with a cocktail of three drugs, but one of those drugs recently became unavailable due to political reasons.
Hearn has been on Death Row since 1998. He kidnapped Frank Meziere, 23, who was washing his car at a car wash, took Meziere to an industrial area, and shot him ten times. Police said Hearn's only goal was to steal Meziere's care, which he soon abandoned.
The victim's relative Walt Meziere points our Hearn was just hours away from execution eight years ago, before a court stepped in. He hopes that doesn't happen again.
"This is going to provide some closure for the family," he said. "I'm not big on this 'eye for an eye' thing, but if the state has decided that this is the way they want to carry through with things, that is the way it will be."
Richard Burr, Hearn's lawyer, says he has a last minute appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court.
"Mr. Hearn has mental retardation," Burr said. "There is a 2002 U.S. supreme court ruling that says you cannot execute people who suffer from mental retardation."
The use of the drug pentobarbital has been upheld by the courts as not violating the constitution protections against cruel and unusual punishments, and is not a factor in Hearn's appeal.