Female American prisoner, executed by lethal injection, in the state of Texas on February 3, 1998. At the time, she was the first woman to be executed in the United States since 1984.
In 1984, Karla Faye Tucker was sentenced to death for the gruesome pickax murder of her ex-lover Jerry Lynn Dean and his companion, Deborah Thornton. Her boyfriend at the time, Daniel Ryan Garret, assisted in the killing. Upon sentencing, Tucker bragged that she experienced an orgasm each time she plunged the ax down upon her victims. At the time, Tucker was a drug addict and prostitute, and showed no remorse.
Upon living in prison, Tucker became a born again Christian and model prisoner. Opponents of the death penalty cited the conversion, and her newly found remorse, as a reason to spare her from execution. Supporters of the death penalty countered that her death-row conversion was a ploy to avoid punishment.
Thousands of people in the United States and worldwide focused on the actions of the state of Texas. Several last minute appeals were unsuccessful. The only person capable of sparing her, Texas Governor George W. Bush, did not intercede. For political reasons, Bush avoided addressing the issue and stated that he would do whatever the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles recommended.
Bush would later mock her in an interview with Talk Magazine:
'Please,' Bush whimpers, his lips pursed in mock desperation, 'don't kill me,'
On February 3, the US Supreme Court denied a stay of the execution. After syringe insertion, but before the injection of fluids, she said her final words:
"I would like to say to all of you, the Thornton family and Jerry Dean's family that I am so sorry. I hope God will give you peace with this. Baby, I love you. Ron give Peggy a hug for me. Everybody has been so good to me. I love all of you very much... I am going to be face to face with Jesus now. Warden Baggett, thank all of you so much. You have been so good to me. I love all of you very much, I will see you all when you get there. I will wait for you."
She was pronounced dead shortly after, at 6:45 pm.