Inmate Executed for Double Murder Despite Mercy Bid Backed by Over 70 Guards

( – Brian Dorsey, 52, who was convicted of murdering two of his own relatives and leaving their 4-year-old daughter orphaned, has been executed despite a campaign to have his death sentence commuted to life behind bars. He was executed by lethal injection on Tuesday, April 9th, after the Republican governor of Missouri, Mike Parson, refused clemency.

According to court records, on December 23rd, 2006, Dorsey telephoned his cousin Sarah Bonnie asking for help. He told her that two drug dealers were in his home, demanding money. Bonnie and her husband Ben went over to his apartment, after which the alleged dealers left. The couple decided to let Dorsey stay at their house and took him back with them, where he spent the evening playing pool and drinking in the company of their family and friends.

Later, that same night, he let himself into his hosts’ bedroom and killed them with a shotgun before stealing property in order to pay his debts, all while their young daughter was at home. Court records also indicate that he sexually violated his dead cousin’s body, although he was never charged with doing so. The Bonnies’ bodies were later discovered by Sarah’s parents.

Dorsey was sentenced to death for each murder in 2008, a sentence which was upheld on appeal. During his clemency appeal shortly before his death, his lawyers argued that he should be spared the lethal injection as he was remorseful for his crimes, crimes that they said he committed while experiencing a “drug-induced psychosis” as well as an “alcohol-induced blackout”. They also observed that his trial attorneys were paid a flat fee of $12,000 each, which ultimately meant an hourly rate of only a few dollars. They suspect this would have disincentivized them from dedicating themselves properly to his case.

Dorsey was a popular figure amongst the staff of his prison, whose hair he cut while working as a barber behind bars. A petition requesting his death sentence be commuted was signed by 70 correctional officers, but Gov. Parson said that Dorsey’s death would provide “closure.” Dorsey wrote a final letter before his death in which he apologized for the murders and for the grief he had caused.

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