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Death row inmate executed despite concerns over 'cutdown' procedure shared emotional final statement
Featured Image Credit: Missouri Department of Corrections

Death row inmate executed despite concerns over 'cutdown' procedure shared emotional final statement

Brian Dorsey wrote a final statement before he was executed for the murders of his cousin and her husband

A prisoner on death row who was executed shared an emotional final statement before his execution.

Brian Dorsey was executed by lethal injection at the state prison in Bonne Terre, Missouri on Tuesday (April 9).

The 52-year-old was convicted of killing his cousin Sarah and her husband Ben Bonnie at their home on December 23, 2006.

Dorsey had phoned Sarah the day of her murder requesting money to pay off a drug dealer, prosecutors said.

That evening, he went to the couple's home and took a shotgun from their garage, which he used to kill them both.

Dorsey then took some items from the home in an attempt to pay off his drug debt.

Court records show that he'd turned himself in three days after the attack and was sentenced to death for each murder.

Prior to his execution, Dorsey gave an emotional statement in which he apologised to Ben and Sarah's families and thanked people who had helped through the appeal process.

The written statement was provided to CNN by his attorneys.

Brian Dorsey. (Missouri Department of Corrections)
Brian Dorsey. (Missouri Department of Corrections)

It read: “To all of the family and loved ones I share with Sarah and to all of the surviving family and loved ones of Ben, I am totally, deeply, overwhelmingly sorry. Words cannot hold the just weight of my guilt and shame.

“I still love you. I never wanted to hurt anyone. I am sorry I hurt them and you.

“To my family, friends, and all of those that tried to prevent this, I love you! I am grateful for you.

“I have peace in my heart in large part because of you and I thank you. To all those on ALL sides of this sentence, I carry no ill will or anger, only acceptance and understanding.”

Dorsey lodged appeals with the US Supreme Court and submitted a request for clemency to Governor Mike Parson prior to his death.

The appeals referenced Dorsey's good behavior in prison and his rehabilitation, along with concerns about Missouri's execution protocols.

Dorsey's final written statement. (Missouri Department of Corrections)
Dorsey's final written statement. (Missouri Department of Corrections)

Concerns were raised over a possible 'cutdown' procedure, which would be used to find a vein by using forceps to pull away tissue where it might be more difficult due to conditions such as obesity and intravenous drug use, as in Dorsey's case.

Both the appeals and the clemency were ultimately rejected despite a petition signed by more than 70 correctional officers calling for his sentence to be commuted to life in prison.

Parson said in a statement that he had rejected the clemency request because Dorsey 'punished his loving family for helping him in a time of need' and that 'Missouri law and the Court’s order will deliver justice and provide closure'.

"His cousins invited him into their home, where he was surrounded by family and friends, then gave him a place to stay. Dorsey repaid them with cruelty, inhumane violence, and murder." he continued.

Abraham Bonowitz, the executive director for Death Penalty Action told The Mirror: "Clemency is supposed to be about whether a person is worthy of mercy, not a retrial of the facts of the case."

Bonowitz also said that he had even worked as the prison's barber which required a high level of trust from prison staff.

Topics: News, US News, Crime, Death Row