Robert Ladd, a Texas death row inmate, was executed for the murder of a 38-year-old woman almost two decades ago.
Ladd committed the crime while serving parole for a triple slaying.
The convict received lethal injection after a lengthy legal battle in which the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately rejected his arguments of being mentally impaired, which would have made him ineligible for execution. It also rejected his legal team's questions on whether the state's use of the drug pentobarbital as part of the lethal injection cocktail causes unnecessary suffering, which is unconstitutional.
Ladd was convicted of the murder of Vicki Ann Garner. He was alleged to have strangled and beaten her to death with a hammer, binding her arms and legs before setting her on fire.
Before he was put to death, Ladd issued his final statement, addressing it to the family of his victim.
"I really, really hope and pray you don't have hatred in your heart," he told the family after saying he was sorry, "A revenge death won't get you anything."
Ladd then told the warden, "Let's ride." He was led away to execution chamber.
Lethal injections have been in the news recently after a failed execution of an Oklahoma death row inmate caused officials to rethink their methods. Many claim the method of execution causes unnecessary pain and suffering to the condemned.
As the drugs began working their way through Ladd's system, he cried out, "Stings my arm, man!" He then began to take deep breaths before snoring. As his snores turned into smaller breaths, his breathing began to falter until he was pronounced dead at 7:02 p.m. This was 27 minutes after the drugs were administered, according to Daily Mail.
For the family of Ladd's victim, his execution signals the end of a long road.
"I did not think, 18-plus years ago, that I would still be fighting for justice for her," said Teresa Garner Wooten, Vicki's sister who was at the execution. Wooten went on to say she has long since forgiven her sister's killer.
In 2003, Ladd came within hours of being executed before federal courts agreed to hear claims of him being mentally impaired.
"Ladd's deficits are well-documented, debilitating and significant," said Brian Stull, senior staff lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union Capital Punishment Project.
Stull went on to say Ladd's death, "is yet another example of how capital punishment routinely defies the rule of law and human decency," reported Daily Mail.
At the time of his arrest for Garner's death, Ladd was on parole after serving part of a 40-year sentence for the killing of a Dallas woman and her two children. He pleaded guilty to the murders.