Mississippi executes Thomas Edwin Loden Jr. – last execution in U.S. set for 2022
On Wednesday night, 58-year-old Thomas Edwin Loden Jr. was executed by lethal injection in the U.S. state of Mississippi. He was sentenced to death for raping and murdering a 16-year-old girl in June 2000.
The teenager had a flat tire and Loden had stopped to help. He was a Marine, he had explained to her. After the young woman expressed she would never want to be in the Navy, Loden became enraged and committed the deadly crime.
The next day, he was found on the side of the road with self-inflicted injuries, including the words “I’m sorry” carved on his chest.
In his final words, the convicted killer said he knew he could never take back the pain he had caused.
“For the past 20 years, I have tried to do one good deed every day to make up for the life I took from this world,” he said. “I know these are just words that cannot erase the damage I have done. If today brings you nothing else, I hope you find peace and closure.”
The victim’s mother was present at the execution. She said she forgave Loden years ago but believes in the death penalty. “I don’t necessarily want to see anyone die,” she said. “But I believe in the death penalty. … I believe in justice.”