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When someone is executed, there is always a clamour to discover what their last meal was.
For Gary Otte, a double murderer from Ohio, that final meal was a mushroom and Swiss cheeseburger followed by a banana pie with Heath Bar ice cream.
A pretty standard serving, as it happens - the vast majority choose comfort food and ice cream is a particular favourite.
According to local reports, Otte was executed this morning.
He is said to have breathed heavily for around three minutes and stopped moving at 10:44 a.m (local time).
He remained still for a further eight minutes before a member of staff checked his heartbeat and pronounced him dead.
Otte said he would like to 'profess my love for my family', none of which were present at his execution.
He then said: "I'm sorry," to relatives of the victims, who were seated in the viewing area.
Otte then reportedly sang three verses of the gospel hymn 'The Greatest Thing' before finishing with his last words: "Father forgive them, for they don't know what they do. Amen."
Gary Otte (Credit: Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction)
The 45-year old was on death row since 1992 after he was convicted of murdering two people in two robberies in Cleveland, Ohio.
As he was just 20 when he committed his crimes, his lawyers argued that he was not fit to have faced the death penalty and that to carry out such a sentence would constitute the 'cruel and unusual' punishment that is forbidden by the United States Constitution.
A recent decision by a court in Kentucky ruled that those who were under the age of 21 at the time of their crime cannot be executed, and lawyers weree attempting to extend that verdict to Ohio. They cited 'the Eighth Amendment's evolving standards of decency based on his status as an adolescent at the time of his offenses'.
Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (Credit: Google Maps)
Otte shot and killed Robert Wasikowski at point blank range in a 1992 robbery, before returning to the same place the next day and shooting Sharon Kostura. He stole $413 from Wasikowski and $45 from Kostura, as well as her car keys and a cheque book, according to documents from the court.
Otte recently tried to explain his actions, publishing a letter last Friday that blamed his crack cocaine addiction.
Ohio has already executed one person this year, having previously struggled to do so for three years. Ohio is mandated to use the lethal injection method of execution, but it has been difficult for the state to acquire the relevant drugs due to embargoes on selling them in the countries in which they are manufactured.
Featured Image Credit: PA
Topics: Death Row
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