Oklahoma executed Gary Welch on January 5, 2012, for the 1994 stabbing death of Robert Hardcastle.
Hardcaste was killed during a fight that broke out over a drug deal. A co-defendant who was also sentenced to death, later had his sentence reduced to life without parole and died in 2001 of natural causes.
Welch maintained that he acted in self defense, testifying at a hearing before the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board, “To me, this was life or death. It was just luck that I survived. My intentions were never to kill him. But I also didn’t intend for him to kill me either.”
The parole board narrowly denied clemency to Welch by a 3-2 vote. Three weeks ago, Welch attempted to kill himself by slashing his neck. He was quickly taken to the hospital by prison guards and was closely monitored thereafter.
This is the first execution in the United States in 2012.
Fair and Unbalanced