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Retarded Killer Electrocuted in Georgia

Associated Press

A mentally retarded murderer told prison officials he was scared, then thanked them for taking good care of him, as he was about to be executed Tuesday.

Jerome Bowden was strapped into the electric chair at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Center minutes after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to intervene.

“I would like to thank the people of this institution for taking such good care of me as they have,” he said. “I hope that, by my execution being carried out, it will bring some light to this thing that is wrong.”

Bowden, 33, was convicted in 1976 of beating Kathryn Stryker, 55, to death with the barrel of a pellet gun during a robbery at her Columbus home.

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Bowden’s execution had been scheduled for June 17, but the state Board of Pardons and Paroles postponed it after his attorneys argued that he was mentally retarded and could not understand the sentence.

The pardons board lifted its postponement Monday after Bowden was interviewed by a psychologist. An IQ test indicated Bowden had an overall IQ of 65. An IQ of 100 is considered average.


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