Danny Paul Bible, known as the “ice pick killer” of Texas, died of lethal injection Wednesday after the Supreme Court denied his petition to stay his execution earlier that day.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice confirmed the news.
His attorneys appealed all the way to the Supreme Court, arguing that Bible was too sick and weak and his veins were incapable of handling a lethal injection without imploding. Sister Helen Prejean, of “Dead Man Walking” fame, took up his case and tweeted about it several times yesterday.
What kind of legal system allows a state government to roll an elderly man into a killing chamber in his wheelchair, strap him down to a gurney, stick his arms and legs with needles while he suffocates, and then maybe cause his collapsed veins to explode?
— Sister Helen Prejean (@helenprejean) June 27, 2018
CNN reports that Bible died within minutes of receiving his lethal injection.
The death penalty remains a hot topic in American society and just yesterday, the day of Bible’s execution, Pew Research released a new survey on the issue. Surprisingly, a new survey found “an uptick in the share of Americans who favor capital punishment for those convicted of murder.”
Yet public support for the death penalty has declined, as has the number of executions in America. About 54 percent of Americans favor the death penalty for people convicted of murder — 39 percent oppose it.
According to statistics, only 23 people were executed last year, higher than 2016, but still well below the numbers from previous years. Almost 100 people were executed in 1999. Currently, the U.S. is not even one of the top five countries that performs executions. China comes in first — with an estimated 2,400 people executed in 2015, according to Cornell University Law School estimates.
More whites favor the death penalty than blacks, and six-in-10 Americans polled in 2015 didn’t think the death penalty actually deters crime. Bible was a serial rapist and murderer. He earned the nickname the “ice pick killer” when law enforcement discovered he had hacked two women to death with ice picks. Though Bible began committing heinous crimes in 1979, he was paroled for one murder in 1992 and then in 2003 was convicted again of murder. Sister Helen Prejean has not tweeted about Bible since his lethal injection occurred Wednesday.