- Richard Fairchild was executed in Oklahoma on Thursday.
- Fairchild was sentenced to death in 1993 for murdering his girlfriend’s 3-year-old son.
- “Don’t be sad for me because I’m going home to meet my heavenly father,” he said before his death.
Oklahoma has accelerated efforts to execute more than half of its inmates on death row.
Richard Fairchild, who was sentenced to death in 1996 for the 1993 killing of his girlfriend’s 3-year-old son, Adam, was executed by the state’s controversial lethal injection protocol at 10:24 a.m. Thursday on his 63rd birthday.
“Today is a day for Adam, justice for Adam,” Fairchild said as he lay on a stretcher before his death, according to the Associated Press.
“I make peace with God. Don’t be sad for me because I’m going home to meet my heavenly father,” he said.
Oklahoma has a history of botched executions through its highly controversial lethal injection protocol, and the sensations have been compared to swimming in water or being exposed to chemical fire, Death Penalty Information Center director Robert Dunham previously told Insidexpress. But Attorney General John O’Connor said Fairchild’s execution took place with “zero complications.”
Fairchild was denied a clemency recommendation by the Board of Pardons and Parole in October.
Prosecutors told the board that Fairchild killed the child by “torture” – after holding his body in the oven and throwing it on a table.
But Fairchild’s lawyers argued that he was not competent to be executed and was “totally out of touch with reality.”
According to court documents obtained by Insidexpress, his lawyers claim that Fairchild, a former Marine, grew up in a home where physical violence and drug abuse were common. They also claim that he suffered from mental illness and brain damage that worsened over time, believing his brother to have orchestrated his execution.
“Simply put, Mr. Fairchild is schizophrenic, psychotic and delusional. “He does not seem competent to be executed, because he no longer has any rational understanding of the reason for the execution, but instead believes that it was at the behest of his brother,” neuropsychologist Dr. Barry Crown said after assessing him. to the petition for the claim of executive incompetence.
The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court rejected appeals by Fairchild’s attorneys to spare him the death penalty, the Associated Press reported.
Fairchild is the seventh Oklahoma inmate to be put to death since October 2021 and the third of 25 inmates scheduled to be executed in the state between August 22 and December 2024.