Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Virginia Killer Scheduled to Die by Electrocution Tonight

Robert Gleason. Police photo.

Tonight, a convicted killer is set to become the first person executed in the U.S. this year. Robert Gleason Jr., 42, has actively prevented any attempts to stop his execution. While serving time in prison for murder, he strangled two inmates and threatened to continue killing unless given the death penalty. Virginia is one of nine states that allow condemned prisoners a choice between lethal injection and electrocution. Gleason chose electrocution. If his execution goes as planned, he will be the first inmate electrocuted since 2010, when Virginia inmate Paul Powell made the same decision. In all, only six of the 85 inmates executed in Virginia since 1995 have chosen the electric chair.

Gleason has long expressed his readiness for death, telling the Associated Press, ”The death part don’t bother me. This has been a long time coming. It’s called karma.” Despite this, his former attorneys argue that he is incompetent to waive his appeals. An unlikely supreme court decision in favor of the attorneys would stay the execution.

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