Texas plans on Wednesday to execute a man dubbed the “ice pick killer” for the weapon he used to murder a woman in 1979, but his lawyers have launched a last-minute appeal to spare his life, arguing his veins are too compromised for a lethal injection.
Serial murderer and rapist Danny Bible, 66, is set to die at the state’s death chamber in Huntsville at 6 p.m.
Attorneys for Bible told NBC News that health problems make it unsuitable for lethal injection, and they proposed execution via a firing squad or gas.
They said that the lethal injection should be halted because it presents a “substantial risk” of being botched because of his “unique constellation of medical issues.”
But the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused the appeal on Tuesday.
The crime went unsolved for nearly 20 years, until he confessed to the ice pick murder and other sexual assaults that included raping an 11-year-old girl in Montana.
In the meantime, Bible went on a rape and murder spree that included the 1983 killing of his sister-in-law, her infant son and her roommate, court records show. He was arrested in 1999.
After a plea deal for a 25-year sentence, he served eight years and was paroled. After his release, he raped a woman in Louisiana and was apprehended in Florida. Soon afterward, he admitted to the ice pick murder.
Shortly after his death sentence was imposed in 2003, Bible was in a prison bus crash that fractured his spine and left him confined to a wheelchair. Over the years, Bible contracted coronary disease, diabetes, and hypertension, his lawyers said.
“Under the current circumstances, attempts to place IVs in Mr. Bible would be futile and likely result in significant pain and suffering,” they wrote in a petition, as Reuters reported.
Stephen Hoffman, an assistant Texas attorney general opposing the suit, said the court “should give little consideration to isolated examples of problematic executions in other states when it has numerous uneventful Texas executions upon which to base its opinion,” according to the Daily Mail.
He said that a number of successful IVs have been administered to Bible as part of his medical care.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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