07 November 2005 :the state of Delaware executed Brian Steckel for the 1994 murder and rape of a friend's neighbor.
Steckel's final words were: "I would like to tell all the people who supported me all these years and sacrificed for me, I am sorry for the cruel things I did. I am not the same man. I am a better person now ... Good-bye."
But that first farewell turned into a five-minute soliloquy as Steckel, 39, realizing the lethal injection into his arm had not yet been triggered and urged on by a cousin, continued to tell family and friends he loved them and apologized for his crimes.
Then turning to prison warden Thomas Carroll, Steckel asked "What's taking so long?" Finally he sighed, his chest heaved twice and he died, according to pool press witnesses. He was pronounced dead at 12:21 am.
Steckel in September 1994 entered the apartment of Sandra Lee Long, 29, ostensibly to use her phone. Instead he punched her, strangled her into unconsciousness with a stocking, raped her, sodomized her with a screw driver, then left her to die in a fire that he set, according to court records.
Steckel was the 991st inmate to be executed in the United States since 1976, when the Supreme Court lifted a moratorium on capital punishment. He was the 14th person executed in Delaware since the state resumed the death penalty in 1992.