Tuesday, October 14, 2008

One hour and counting for Cooey

9:06 a.m. We've had limited internet access inside the prison, but as of now, everything is set for the execution at 10 a.m., barring a last-minute court stoppage or the Governor's call.

There's about a dozen news organizations here, and we're all having Internet issues.

At 7:30 a.m., prison spokeswoman Andrea Carson said that Cooey slowly consumed his "special" meal until well past midnight. He watched limited local TV and attempted to make one phone call to a friend but the call failed. He was awake pacing and sitting quietly until falling asleep at 4:06 a.m. He awoke at 5:20 a.m. and showered but turned down a chance to eat breakfast. Right now, he's meeting with his attorney and a spiritual advisor.

Leaving my hotel around 7 a.m., I saw a handful of family members from Dawn McCreery in the lobby. They seemed upbeat and glad this day has arrived.

Coming in the prison at 7:15 a.m., I didn't see any demonstrators, but that doesn't mean they're not out there now.

As a media pool reporter, I've received a blank notebook, pen, and pencil that I make take with me to the execution but that's it. I can't take any of my own materials and certainly no cell phones or electronics.

It's an eerie quiet in the media room. We're all making light conversation that there's no coffee or danishes for the media, something that has traditionally been here in the media room. A prison PR officer told us that the food/coffee was removed because of budget cutbacks. Considering this is the first execution of 2008, how much money are they really saving?

In an odd irony, the one vending machine to which we've been given has "bear claws" prominently displayed on the middle shelf. Cooey of course asked for some "real" bear claws as part of his special meal.

I've been chatting with Phil Trexler of the ABJ about what to expect in the death chamber. He's a media witness today and he's done this several times before. He tells me that it's a surreal experience and that it's tough to know when to take notes and when to just observe -- because you don't want to miss anything. We're both wondering if Cooey will put up much resistance.

Ok .. it's 9:13 a.m. ... we're all clock watching and waiting for the call to get ready. They should be calling the media witnesses soon to put us in position.

More later .. Eric


SallyB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SallyB said...

Owing to my upbringing, I have never believed in the "eye for an eye" idea of punishment. There's an old saying that an eye for an eye makes everyone blind, and that is a truth I believe in.

While I am sure that the Offredo and McCreery families are glad that Cooey is dead, and I am sure that this brings some closure for them, still, I think it would be far worse to spend your entire life locked up, 23 hours a day, unable to enjoy the freedoms that the rest of us have.

But this is just me. Death for death doesn't deter anyone, it has been shown. People still rape, stab, shoot and murder their victims in much the same way as they always have, even with the death penalty in place. So what does it prove? And what does it serve, other than revenge for the victims families? Where is the humanity in demanding revenge instead of seeking forgiveness?

Anonymous said...


While I don't disagree with your assertion that the death penalty is not a deterrent, I do disagree with your general point that the death penalty doesn't serve a purpose. Our penal system is set up with the ultimate goal of rehabilitation. However, we can all agree that there are some offenders that are simply never going to be rehabilitated. That is where the death penalty comes into play.

You asked, "So what does it prove? And what does it serve, other than revenge for the victims families?" My response is that it serves to flush human garbage out of the system. Instead of warehousing these folks for decades and incurring hundreds of thousands of dollars a piece in the process, the death penalty allows us to cut our losses. If these people cannot be rehabilitated, then what is the purpose in keeping them around?

Ben said...

Glad this story is over. Not eric's covering of it, just glad Cooey got what he deserved and that is that.

zip81 said...

Cooey proved until the end that he is a spineless, unfeeling coward.

After trying everything he could to escape his fate, he couldn't even apologize.

Don't forget, in addition to the laughable "obese" excuse, he also tried to escape from the Mansfield Reformatory with the scum who killed Trooper James Gross of the Ashaland Post.

I covered the murders and the trial in 1986.

These two, young, beautiful girls and their families are all that is on my mind right now.

Twenty-two years later, this story has hung with me despite the thousands I have covered.

Somehow, Clint Dickens seems to have faded into the background despite the fact that he is just as responsible.

God Bless the McCreerys and the Offredos. They have done nothing, but yet, are serving a life sentence.