McClain executed for Augusta murder

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JACKSON, Ga. --- Convicted murderer Mark McClain had remained tight-lipped leading up to execution Tuesday night. But as he lay strapped to a table inside the maximum security state penitentiary, he broke his silence, however briefly, when prison Warden Steve Upton asked him whether he would like a prayer to be said.

"No, I'm fine," said Mr. McClain, who looked up briefly. Seconds later a deadly series of drugs entered his body through two IVs in his arms. Mr. McClain, 42, was pronounced dead 15 minutes later.

Mr. McClain was put to death almost 15 years after he fatally shot an Augusta pizza store manager in a holdup that netted about $130. A spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Corrections said he was pronounced dead at 7:24 p.m. at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison.

Protesters held vigils outside the prison, at the state Capitol, the Augusta library and six other Georgia cities.

In Jackson, seven women and five men from across the state came to sing hymns and stand in a circle reading the names of the men previously executed in Georgia since the death penalty was reinstated in the 1970s.

"I think it's important to come to the prison to advocate against what is happening here," said Katey Brown, who has driven from Macon for four previous vigils. "We talk about the person who is going to be executed. We talk about ones that have happened in the past. We're basically bringing it to our front, to our conscience."

A Richmond County jury convicted Mr. McClain and sentenced him to death for the 1994 shooting of Kevin Brown during the robbery of a Domino's Pizza restaurant on Washington Road.

Mr. McClain struck out in every appeal filed on his behalf, including last-minute requests at the Georgia and U.S. Supreme Courts. On Friday, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles also denied him clemency.

While death-penalty opponents acknowledged that Mr. McClain wasn't the most deserving of sympathy, they argued that the government shouldn't take a life, even from killers.

"This case is a great illustrator of how arbitrary the death penalty is," said James Clark, a coordinator of Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.

There are 106 men and one woman remaining on the state's death row.

In Augusta, a vigil took place outside the library on Greene Street. One of the participants, Pat Seaborn, of Martinez, said her cousin Ronald Spivey was executed by lethal injection in 2002. According to Mrs. Seaborn, that execution was botched by an incorrect dosage of poison, and she had to watch him suffer for more than 20 minutes before he died.

Standing nearby, however, was Chris Ridings, who identified himself as a former deliveryman for Domino's Pizza in Thomson. He said he did not know Mr. McClain's victim, but he thought the execution was justified.

"You can't do wrong and get away with it. If you do wrong, you've got to pay for what you've done," Mr. Ridings said.

To Richmond County sheriff's Sgt. Ken Rogers, who attended the execution, Mr. McClain was a "cold-hearted" killer who showed no remorse.

Sgt. Rogers was just five months on the job as an investigator when he was assigned to Mr. Brown's death. It was his first murder case and the details are still clear in his mind, as are his memories of the victim. Sgt. Rogers said he had met Mr. Brown while working a special assignment at the Masters Tournament. Mr. Brown would bring pizza to the deputies at the course.

Staff Writer Jonathan Overstreet contributed to this report.

Reach Adam Folk at (706) 823-3339 or adam.folk@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (75) Add comment
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carcraft
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carcraft 10/21/09 - 02:48 am
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Were this people at the vigil

Were this people at the vigil and wake of the victim?

CoastalDawg
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CoastalDawg 10/21/09 - 03:17 am
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Back to the one who had to

Back to the one who had to "suffer for 20 minutes" - what about his victim? Was there any sympathy for that victim at the time that the murder occurred? When an individual intentionally kills another individual without provocation he gives up his own right to any sympathy or life.

Dixieman
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Dixieman 10/21/09 - 03:24 am
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These Obama voters are all

These Obama voters are all liberal fools.

carcraft
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carcraft 10/21/09 - 05:37 am
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CoastalDawg on Wed Oct 21,

CoastalDawg on Wed Oct 21, 2009 3:17 AM I really doubthe suffered. The only way for that to happen is if his IV quite working. They give so much Sodium Pentothal he never knew what happened. They give Pentothal, a powerful muscle relaxant followed by Potassium. Many times the potassium is not circulated as the person is already dead!

carcraft
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carcraft 10/21/09 - 05:44 am
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CoastalDawg on Wed Oct 21,

CoastalDawg on Wed Oct 21, 2009 3:17 AM most accounts of Spiveys execution say 7 to 10 min by reporters who were witnesses! Spivey killed 2 to 3 people one a police officer who interrupted his crime spree.

smartie
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smartie 10/21/09 - 05:58 am
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certainly, their's sympathy

certainly, their's sympathy for both families and the victim of this crime. it's a shame that mark mcclain chose the wrong path in life. his poor decision making affected many people, and cost kevin brown his life. their's many more on death row, that need to be scurried right on through this process. many more, received life in prison, that should have served the same fate. DEATH PENALTY is a deterrent, and should be used a lot more often. you'd see a lot less of the murders, the type that mark mcclain committed, if the price was to pay was life!

skimpy159
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skimpy159 10/21/09 - 06:14 am
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Good riddiance. Now lets put

Good riddiance. Now lets put the rest of those [filtered word]on the fast train to jackson!

livingdead70
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livingdead70 10/21/09 - 06:22 am
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sorry your cousin had to

sorry your cousin had to suffer, were you concerned about his victims? Did you go to a vigil for them? Do you ever think about them? Do actually think anyone cares about your cousin?

Dixieman
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Dixieman 10/21/09 - 06:30 am
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I got removed for saying the

I got removed for saying the protesters were liberal fools. Try again.

MyChronicleUserAccount
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MyChronicleUserAccount 10/21/09 - 06:38 am
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Hope he didn't request

Hope he didn't request pepperoni on his last meal request.

WhippingPost
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WhippingPost 10/21/09 - 06:53 am
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I can see how people object

I can see how people object to the death penalty, on principle. The alternative is to allow that there is no reason, under any circumstances, to put a social threat to death. By extrapolation, it would then be able to allow that there are no absolutes.

conphlikted
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conphlikted 10/21/09 - 06:54 am
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smartie... i'm as much for

smartie... i'm as much for the death penalty as the next guy. I think its a legit option for criminals. But it ISNT a deterrent. Numerous studies, and murder rates from all of the American states show that murder rates are no lower in states that have the death penalty than those that dont. In fact, some states w/ the death penalty have higher murder rates. Just the facts.

jackfruitpaper833
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jackfruitpaper833 10/21/09 - 07:10 am
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LOL Dixieman they could have

LOL Dixieman they could have been conservative fools. For that matter why does it matter? People will protest ANYTHING...

SoonerorLater
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SoonerorLater 10/21/09 - 07:10 am
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The death penalty WOULD be a

The death penalty WOULD be a deterrent if these animals did not get to sit in jail and live off the taxpayer for 15-20 years. If it was mandatory that those sentenced to death had a one year appeal process and if that failed, they would be put to death in one year (or less) that could be a deterrent. that would also save the taxpayer millions (if not billions across the country).

conphlikted
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conphlikted 10/21/09 - 07:20 am
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very true. but that would

very true. but that would also present a slight problem. you know, like the people who have been proven innocent (after being convicted and sentenced to death) years later by DNA evidence. It is true, if the penalty were more swift, it would be more of a deterrent, which thank heavens shows someone is a little educated. But then what of all the innocents who would have died. sure, its not an overabundance that have been proven innocent, but its some. is a quicker death to criminals worth the life of innocents?

lifelongresidient
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lifelongresidient 10/21/09 - 07:46 am
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dear corp, i beg to differ

dear corp, i beg to differ regarding the death penalty being a deterrent...tell me how many young boys has john wayne gacy, or young ladies has ted bundy killed since they were executed???

conphlikted
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conphlikted 10/21/09 - 07:50 am
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it is a deterrent to the

it is a deterrent to the criminal... duh. what the previous poster was eluding to was that it was a deterrent to others... which is exactly what punitive measures are intended to do... stop others from crime.
like i said, people being killed for killing others ISNT a deterrent to others to not kill.
BUT, sure, I'll agree with you. You're absolutely right. Dead murderers are kinda deterred from killing again :-/

ripjones
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ripjones 10/21/09 - 07:56 am
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Glad he's dead. Now the

Glad he's dead. Now the victim's family has closure. It should not have taken 14 years!! There should be a 24 month appeal period, while the evidence is still fresh. Then an express train ride to Jackson Classification.

MrAlwaysRight
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MrAlwaysRight 10/21/09 - 08:13 am
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Death is too easy a sentence.

Death is too easy a sentence. Death penalty inmates cost over $2.6 million more over the 15-20 year delay than a life without parole inmate. Though I have zero pity for this convict, I'd prefer to spend that money on other things than fattening lawyers pockets and I'd also prefer that a murderer die a long, slow, incarcerated death in prison rather than be released with the mercy of death. This would also remove a sensitive, devisive issue from public debate. Let them rot in prison, quit giving them merciful death.

conphlikted
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conphlikted 10/21/09 - 08:25 am
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True. It actually does cost

True. It actually does cost more to put someone to death than it does for life imprisonment. Between trials, appeals, and the time the prisoner spends in jail anyway, a death penalty case costs more.

trujustis
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trujustis 10/21/09 - 08:38 am
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Rip...I don't think there is

Rip...I don't think there is any of the victims family left alive to have closure. If I am not mistaken they have all passed away since the murder.

jeffreyd
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jeffreyd 10/21/09 - 08:54 am
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not all death penalty cases

not all death penalty cases are as cut and dry as this one.. for many it is the issue of putting to death an innocent man, a situation that Texas is dealing with as we blog. The moral question is how many guilty vs how many innocent.. is there an allowable 'ratio' of those who are guilty to those who may be innocent.. The social justice teachings of my religion say there is not.. as expressed so many times on this forum, vengence is the Lord's perogative, not mine or yours.... If somehow you could prove a 100% rate of guilt, you might have a case for 'killing', but we don't and there goes the rational for support amoung many. Some live in the Old Testament, eye for an eye being a basic tenet.. Others live in the New Testament where even though a great harm has been done, there is opportunity for reconciliation between the offender and his Lord. mercy being the basic tenet of this theology..

jaf2
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jaf2 10/21/09 - 09:00 am
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conphlikted: what about the

conphlikted:
what about the 35% spike in murders nationally within 2 years after the death penalty was initially abolished, which kept rising until it was reinstated. True, there has been no decline in the numbers, but when one looks at the numbers pre- , during- , and post- abolition it is not hard at all to identify which years the death penalty did and did not exist. flat-line before, steady rise during abolition, (relatively) flat line after reinstatement. Two people can look at the same numbers and selectively use them to support either side of a discussion topic.

WhippingPost
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WhippingPost 10/21/09 - 09:02 am
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conphlikted, the tiny % of

conphlikted, the tiny % of improperly sentenced death penalty cases doesn't, in any way, justify the 15-20 year delay in executions, especially since the politically correct delays remove all deterrents. The executions should be by firing squad or hanging or guillotine and be broadcast live on public television during prime time.

carcraft
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carcraft 10/21/09 - 09:12 am
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MMH219 on Wed Oct 21, 2009

MMH219 on Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:54 AM TheyExecuted a guy in West Virginia that claimed he was innocent, had his picture on the cover of Time magazine. After his execution they had saved DNA and he was guilty. What they didn't tell you with the "eletist " media was that he had tried to rape twice before and was a generally bad charactor. Keeping some of these folks lacked up is a threat to those that have to care for them. Many of these peole are dangerous like the guy in Atlanta or Pea Wee Gaskin!

skimpy159
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skimpy159 10/21/09 - 09:17 am
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con, if what you say is so,

con, if what you say is so, the only reason is , they know it probably will never be carried out. What is the crime rate in Saudi Arabia?

CobaltGeorge
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CobaltGeorge 10/21/09 - 09:18 am
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The bleeding hearts of this

The bleeding hearts of this country will always show great honor toward killers but show little or no mercy toward the victim. They have no idea the destruction a killer have done to the families of his victim he killed. Static shows that 85% of families that has a child killed end in divorce. Families member spit and are not as supported of each other as before the lost. Starting with the trial, the victim is almost always referred to as the victim from both sides and the alleged killer is always Mr.... Mrs...It is almost impossible to even have a picture of the victim shown during the trial proceedings. Today, with all the modern scientific crime investigation technics available, a killer is a killer. There should be death in all cases except when self defense is a possibility. There should be a 48 hours wait till the needle. Death is the only verdict. Even with the death of the killer, it will not fully cure the pain of the victims love ones but will provide some justice.

jeffreyd
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jeffreyd 10/21/09 - 09:19 am
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whippingpost... so you

whippingpost... so you probably have pictures on your wall of those lynchings where a group of white people are shown gapping at a black man's corpse.. yea, now that's the way a civilized culture shows off its best solution to some of its basic problems..... sounds like something out of the tribal regions of afganistan, yea that's what we want here in americam, taliban justice......

hepher
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hepher 10/21/09 - 09:27 am
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The very same anti-death

The very same anti-death penalty liberals are why we need the death penalty. There is no true guarantee of life in prison without parole. There's always the chance that some liberal (like Norman Mailer) will choose a "cause" to get a monster released. And the death penalty is a deterent.....McClain will never again murder anyone. There was a monster who was sent to prison in California for 8 years and then released. Then in his 60s, he moved to Florida and went on killing. If he had been put to death in the first place, he wouldn't have been able to kill those women.

WhippingPost
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WhippingPost 10/21/09 - 09:29 am
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MMH219, what are you talking

MMH219, what are you talking about? Executions are = lynchings? What kind of drug induced comment is that?

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