D.C. Sniper Set to Be Executed Today


dc-sniperUnless Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine steps in, sniper mastermind John Allen Muhammad will be executed today for the attacks that terrorized the nation’s capital region for three weeks in 2002. Muhammad is set to die by injection¬†at Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt. His attorneys have asked Kaine to commute his sentence to life in prison because they say he is mentally ill. The U.S. Supreme Court turned down Muhammad’s final appeal yesterday.

Muhammad was sentenced to death for killing Dean Harold Meyers at a Manassas gas station during a spree that left 10 dead across Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

He and his teenage accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo, also were suspected of fatal shootings in other states, including Louisiana, Alabama and Arizona.

For the families of those killed, the day is a long time coming.

Cheryll Witz is one of several victims’ relatives who were going to watch the execution. Malvo confessed that, at Muhammad’s direction, he shot her father, Jerry Taylor, on a Tucson, Ariz., golf course in March 2002.

“He basically watched my dad breathe his last breath,” she said. “Why shouldn’t I watch his last breath?”

The shootings terrorized the Washington region, with victims gunned down while doing everyday chores like shopping or pumping gas. People stayed indoors. Those who had to go outside weaved as they walked or bobbed their heads to make themselves less of a target.

The terror ended on Oct. 24, 2002, when police captured Muhammad and Malvo as they slept at a Maryland rest stop in a car they had outfitted so a shooter could hide in the trunk and fire through a hole in the body of the vehicle. Malvo is serving a life sentence in Virginia.

Death penalty opponents planned vigils across the state, and some were headed for Jarratt, about an hour south of Richmond, for the execution.

Beth Panilaitis, executive director of Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, said those who planned to protest understand the fear that gripped the community, and the nation, during the attacks.

“The greater metro area and the citizens of Virginia have been safe from this crime for seven years,” Panilaitis said. “Incarceration has worked and life without the possibility of parole has and will continue to keep the people of Virginia safe.”

{Orlando Centinnel/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. It is just so sad.

    Don’t get me wrong — I’m in favor of the judicious use of the death penalty — and if multiple murderers don’t deserve it, then I don’t know who does. Furthermore, I don’t feel any sympathy toward Mr. Muhammed and his fate – as I said earlier, if anyone deserves the death penalty for their crimes, he does.

    Nonetheless, I can’t help but feel sad that the death penalty is necessary and that we are forced to take this drastic step. I can’t help but feel sad for the waste — for the victims lives and even for Mr. Muhammed’s own potential, which he so callously destroyed.

    Yes, it says “b’ibud r’shaim rina.” But I can’t bring myself to feel any joy over this — even if it is necessary.

    The Wolf

  2. @ Wolf

    Our tradition teaches that those feelings are exactly right. Didn’t Hashem rebuke the angels for their happiness when the Egyptians were killed? Punishing this person is the proper thing to do, but by no mean should we celebrate the action. Empathy is what makes us special and what Hashem expects from us.

  3. it is so sad you are 100% right.
    do you realize we will now have to pay money so that the gov. can keep this 17yearold in prison. kill him to

  4. I say they should kill Mohammed’s whole family too. THey probably masterminded the whole plan. It brings tears to my eyes thinking that they may live…