My thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families, and for this monsters Mother, poor woman to have borne such a thing.
With his final appeal denied Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Beltway sniper is almost out of time.
Barring a last-minute reprieve by the governor, John Allen Muhammad will die by lethal injection at 9 tonight in Jarratt. A small town north of Emporia, Jarratt is home to Greensville Correctional Center, where the state carries out all of its death sentences.
Up until the 1950s, the condemned were usually executed within two months of sentencing. These days, seven years is more typical. Muhammad's case took six.
He was convicted in November 2003 by a Virginia Beach jury for his part in a shooting spree that picked off victims in the Beltway area and beyond in 2002.
Since then, Muhammad, 48, has spent most of his days in a one-man cell on Virginia's Death Row, located at Sussex 1 State Prison, about 30 miles west of Smithfield.
Death Row cells measure 73 square feet, have one narrow window, a bed, desk, sink and toilet. Prisoners live in isolation, allowed outside their cells for a total of seven hours per week for exercise and showers. They have no contact with one another or other inmates, but are allowed to have books, a radio and a small TV.
Prior to execution, prisoners are moved to Greensville. Muhammad, inmate No. 331009, has been there since early October, locked in one of three cells built right next to the death chamber.
Today, he'll be permitted visits from immediate family, attorneys and spiritual advisers. He'll select his last meal from the regular prison menu, and must have it four hours before his execution. If he wants to, he'll be allowed to shower two hours before he dies.
Greensville houses both the electric chair and the medical equipment necessary for lethal injection. Prisoners can pick their method.
The chair, handmade from oak and outfitted with leather straps, is the same one used since 1908, when the state conducted its first electrocution. The chair's electrical mechanism was updated in 1991.
Only four prisoners have chosen the chair since lethal injection became an option in 1995. Those who don't make a choice - like Muhammad - automatically get injection.
At the appointed hour, Muhammad will be strapped to a gurney. By then, as with every Virginia execution, protesters will have gathered in a field outside the prison - people opposed to the death penalty no matter how terrible the crime.
Armed with signs, they'll read the names of Muhammad's victims, pray and stand silently as the sentence of the jury is carried out.
An IV line will be inserted into each of Muhammad's arms.
The first of three chemicals will render him unconscious.
The second will stop his breathing.
The third will stop his heart.