WASHINGTON, January 16 (RIA Novosti) - Despite efforts by defense lawyers to spare his life, a Virginia death row inmate is scheduled on Wednesday night to get exactly what he has asked for, repeatedly: to be executed in the electric chair, for two prison murders he says he committed in the hopes he would be sentenced to die.
“If the death penalty didn’t exist in Virginia, it’s highly unlikely he would have committed these crimes in the first place,” said defense attorney Jon Sheldon, who has represented the inmate, Robert Gleason Jr., on occasion, in an interview with RIA Novosti.
“The Commonwealth of Virginia is extremely eager to satisfy his request,” Sheldon added.
Gleason, 42, was already serving a life sentence for murder when he brutally murdered his cellmate in May 2009, binding the man with torn bed sheets, beating and taunting him, and finally strangling him.
He pled guilty, telling the court he, "already had a few other inmates lined up, just in case I didn't get the death penalty, that I was gonna take out."
In July 2010, while awaiting a sentencing hearing, he killed another inmate, repeatedly strangling him through a wire fence and laughing as prison employees tried to save the man, court records show.
“The only way to stop me is put me on death row," he told The Associated Press.
Late Wednesday, the US Supreme Court was the only thing standing between Gleason and the electric chair. Without a stay, Gleason was scheduled to die at 9 p.m. (0200 GMT) at the Greensville Correctional Center in Virginia.
“As far as we can tell the death penalty has never motivated anybody not to kill someone so its 1-0 death penalty,” said Sheldon.