Unrepentant killer Robert Charles Gleason Jr uttered the following last words before he was strapped to an electric chair and executed last night: ‘Kiss my ass.’ Or to be succinct ‘Pog mo thin.’
The words uttered in Gaelic came after Gleason Jr vehemently petitioned for his execution, having gone so far as to murder another inmate in order to ensure his demise.
Gleason was serving life in prison without parole when he killed his cellmate in 2009.
Press reports acknowledge that the 42 year old inmate is the country’s first execution of 2013, and the first to die by electrocution in Virginia since 2010.
Aggravating matters is Gleason Jr’s contention that he would strike again if he wasn’t put to death.
His execution comes as former attorneys attempted to stop his execution with the recaltrant criminal urging instead that he deserved to die.
“Why prolong it? The end result’s gonna be the same,” Gleason said from death row in his thick Boston accent in one of numerous interviews he’s given to The AP over three years. “The death part don’t bother me. This has been a long time coming. It’s called karma.”
During his time in incarceration Gleason Jr went on to admit he was guilty of murdering Mike Jamerson, a purported underworld figure on the outside, something that authorities had little evidence against him.
Then there was an episode in 2009 where out of frustration he strangled his mentally disturbed cell mate Harvey Watson Jr. At the time Gleason remained in the cell with Watson’s lifeless body for more than 15 hours before officers discovered the crime.
“Someone needs to stop it. The only way to stop me is put me on death row,” he told The AP at the time, repeating his threats in court on numerous occasions.
While awaiting sentencing at a highly secure prison, Greensville Correctional Center that is reserved for the Virginia’s worst inmates, Gleason strangled 26-year-old Aaron Cooper through the wire fencing that separated their individual cages on the recreation yard.
Gleason according to the ny dailyness claims he’s killed others — perhaps dozens more — but he has refused to provide details. He claims he’s different from the other men on Virginia’s death row for one important reason: He only kills criminals.
Reiterated Gleason: “I ain’t saying I’m a better person for killing criminals, but I’ve never killed innocent people. I killed people that’s in the same lifestyle as me, and they know, hey, these things can happen.”
Gleason says he only requested death in order to keep a promise to a loved one that he wouldn’t kill again. He said doing so will allow him to teach his children, including two young sons, what can happen if they follow in his footsteps.
“I wasn’t there as a father and I’m hoping that I can do one last good thing. Hopefully, this is a good thing.”
Although one wonders if the death wish comes from a desire to be made into a martyr and exult his strained and tarnished existence into a higher memory and parable for others in the underworld where he once relished and to that for his family’s sake who by now had come to watch him wash away in increasing violence and self demise.
Then there is the contention that he’s undoing was the result of a violent upbringing and a torrent love affair with narcotics which some in his family argue may have led to his mental illness.
Court papers detail his “profoundly disturbed and traumatic life” marked by abuse as a child and depression and other mental health problems as an adult. Gleason started drinking alcohol as a teen and later abused cocaine, meth and steroids, among other drugs.
The nydailynews goes on to note that on both sides of the death penalty debate have seized on Gleason’s case to prove their point.
Death penalty supporters say that keeping Gleason alive puts others at risk. Opponents of capital punishment argue that the prospect of being executed gave him incentive to kill Watson and Cooper.
Interestingly Gleason had the choice of less painful lethal injection offered to him, something that he declined as he chose the more caustic and brutal death of electrocution. Perhaps in a way Gleason decided it was time he also died his own brutal death and perhaps somewhere along the way resurrect the folk tale of the anti hero that went down hard and fighting to the bitter end…