Mack executed, saying ‘Allah is great’
Daryl Mack, convicted of raping and murdering two Reno women, went quietly to his death Wednesday night.
Mack, 47, made only one obvious gesture as he lay in the converted gas chamber at Nevada State Prison, a broad grimace of a smile aimed at Washoe County Deputy District Attorney Dan Greco, who prosecuted him.
“Daryl Mack will never again harm anyone,” said Charles May, son of Betty Jane May, one of the victims. “It’s been a very long, rough road for us all. Life can start over now.”
Mack, a Muslim, spent most of the day praying, according to prison spokesman Fritz Schlottman. Mack rejected the Valium offered to ease him toward the execution, and was clear-eyed and asking prison staff about the procedures as they hooked him up and connected the intravenous lines.
The lethal injection began at 9 p.m., and Mack was pronounced dead six minutes later. His last words, according to Director of Corrections Glen Whorton were, “Allah is great, Allah is great.”
Two dozen death-penalty opponents gathered outside the prison to protest the execution, even though Mack repeatedly said he wanted to die.
“It still begs the question, should we be killing someone who killed someone to show killing someone is wrong?” said the Rev. Charles Durante, of the Nevada Coalition Against the Death Penalty.
“The fact somebody is volunteering for it or saying they don’t want any more appeals doesn’t make it any more right,” he said in an interview earlier.
Mack was the 12th man executed in Nevada since the Supreme Court restored the death penalty.
Mack was also the first inmate to be convicted solely on the strength of DNA evidence. He was already serving life without possible parole for the 1994 murder of Kim Parks in a Reno motel after DNA evidence linked him to the murder of May, found raped and strangled in a Reno boardinghouse in 1988.
He was first set for execution in March 2003, but that was stayed while his lawyers appealed the conviction and sentence. His lawyers were still pursuing state court appeals last year when Mack told a Washoe County district judge he was tired of the battle and would rather die by lethal injection than live the rest of his life in prison. He continued, however, to maintain his innocence.
Following a series of hearings in which two of three psychiatrists ruled him competent to make that decision, he was rescheduled for execution Dec. 1.
The Supreme Court stayed the execution after Mack’s mother, Viola, petitioned, arguing her son was not competent to make that choice, both because of his mental problems and the heavy anti-psychotic medication the prison was keeping him on. Her lawyers said he was simply using the court system to commit suicide
The high court rejected the petition stating: “Whether Mack would like to commit suicide is not relevant as long as he is competent.”
The court also said there is evidence in the record that Mack was aware of his situation, and that he would be put to death if he gave up his appeals. And they said claiming innocence was not evidence of delusion.
The court lifted the stay of execution in February, paving the way for Wednesday’s execution.
Of the 11 men who preceded Mack, all but one gave up remaining appeals and volunteered to be put to death.
– Associated Press writer Scott Sonner contributed to this report.
• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 687-8750.