February 17, 2011 / 4:26 PM / 8 years ago

Ohio executes Nazi sympathizer who killed three

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Reuters) - A Nazi sympathizer who was convicted of killing three people in 1982 on an Ohio college campus was executed on Thursday by lethal injection, officials said.

Frank Spisak in an undated photo. REUTERS/Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction

Frank Spisak, 59, died at 10:34 a.m. local time at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. This was the seventh execution in the United States so far this year.

Spisak wore a Hitler-style mustache during his 1983 trial.

In January, the Ohio Parole Board unanimously recommended against clemency for Spisak, and Ohio Governor John R. Kasich denied a request for executive clemency earlier this month.

His victims included the Rev. Horace Rickerson, 57, Timothy Sheehan, 50, and a teenager, 17-year-old Brian Warford.

Spisak said he killed Rickerson because he was a black man who rebuffed his sexual advances, according to prosecutors. Spisak tried to kill another man, John Hardaway, 54, while on a “hunting party” for black people, prosecutors said. While on another “hunting party,” Spisak killed Warford, who was black, prosecutors said.

He killed Timothy Sheehan, who was white, because Spisak believed he was a potential witness in the Rickerson murder, prosecutors said.

Spisak was the longest serving prisoner on Ohio’s death row, at 27 years.

In asking for clemency, Spisak’s attorneys had argued that he was mentally ill.

His last meal was spaghetti with light tomato sauce, salad with Italian dressing and chocolate cake for dessert, according to Carlo LoParo of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

His final statement was a recitation in the German language of seven verses from the Biblical Book of Revelation, which he had previously written out.

Spisak was injected with the drug sodium thiopental, according to LoParo.

Spisak was the last Ohio prisoner to be executed using this drug, which is in short supply. Hospira Inc. of Illinois said last month it would stop making the drug, bowing to European Union pressure. Ohio said it will use pentobarbital, which is often used to euthanize pets, for the scheduled execution of Johnnie Baston in March.

The U.S. executed 46 people last year, down 12 percent from 2009.

Reporting by Jim Leckrone; Writing by Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Jerry Norton, and Greg McCune

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