Grayson executed in Atmore despite appeal
Published 4:19 am Monday, July 30, 2007
By By Adam Prestridge – for the standard
After more than 25 years of sitting on Alabama's death row and making numerous appeals, Darrell Grayson was executed by lethal injection Thursday night at Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore.
Grayson had been on death row for 27 years after being convicted of capital murder for the Dec. 24, 1980, slaying of Annie Laura Orr, an 86-year-old widow from Montevallo.
Prior to his execution, Grayson filed an appeal challenging Alabama's method of execution, which added to the numerous appeals he had filed during his almost three decades in prison. That appeal was denied.
Gov. Bob Riley issued a statement Thursday morning prior to Grayson's execution focusing more on the victim in the crime, reminding opposition to the execution about Orr, who was brutally murdered by Grayson and raped by Grayson's co-defendant, Victor Kennedy, who was executed in 1999.
Laura Orr,” Riley said. “She was a defenseless 86-year-old woman who lived alone and died a horrifying death almost 27 years ago. The killer's own numerous confessions, his own trial testimony where he himself admitted guilt and the overwhelming physical evidence left a jury no doubt he perpetrated a cruel and monstrous crime upon a helpless elderly woman.”
Riley said Grayson's many appeals contradicted his testimony and the evidence provided in the case.
At sentencing, the trial court found two aggravating circumstances, according to Corbett: first, the crime was committed while the defendant was engaged in the commission of a rape, robbery and burglary, and secondly, the crime was especially heinous, atrocious and cruel.
The trial court also found two statutory mitigating circumstances: First, that Grayson was 19 years old at the time of the offense, and secondly, that Grayson lacked a prior history of significant criminal activity. The court determined that the aggravating circumstances outweighed the mitigating circumstances and, as such, law required the sentence of death.
The aggravated nature of the crime was described by the Court of Appeals as having been committed by “wild raving dogs of hell.”
Grayson was executed at 6 p.m. and was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.