Killer Asks Forgiveness, Is Executed

From the Associated Press

A multiple killer was executed early Monday after saying he wanted no appeals and thanking guards for "letting me die with dignity."

William Paul Thompson, 52, who also asked for forgiveness from his family and from the families of three and possibly six victims, was given a lethal injection at 2:01 a.m. and pronounced dead eight minutes later.

He was sentenced to die for the 1984 killing of Randy Waldron, a 28-year-old transient in Reno. After that sentence, he was convicted of killing Robert Pariset, 35, and Pariset's 28-year-old brother, John, who were camping near Auburn, Calif.

Thompson spent the hours before his scheduled execution talking with a minister and with a fellow Death Row inmate at Nevada State Prison. He had a final meal of fast-food hamburgers, french fries and a Coke.

Thompson spoke briefly with the five prison guards who helped hoist the 5-foot-8, 300-pound inmate onto a gurney in Nevada's former gas chamber as 25 witnesses and press representatives watched.

Thompson, clean-shaven and in prison denims, never looked at the witnesses. Instead, he stared at the ceiling of the chamber as he was strapped to the gurney and the injection was administered.

Thompson was the third person put to death in Nevada and the 112th in the nation since the U.S. Supreme Court revived the death penalty in 1976. Seven murderers have been executed this year.

In the only interview he granted, Thompson told the Associated Press on Saturday that he had recently found religion and was "paying back to society the only thing I have to offer it."

"When you give everything you got, that should be enough. My death is payment to everyone I've ever hurt, my family, the victims' families."

Thompson said he did not want to stop his execution because he was ready to die and might kill again if he remained alive.

"They're letting a guilty man die with dignity," he said. "I never thought I'd be thanking someone for letting me die, never in a million years."

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