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Double Murderer Executed, Second to Die in One Week in Nevada

June 23, 1989

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) _ A confessed double murderer who said he thought he was doing a service to society when he killed homosexual men was executed by injection early Friday.

As five guards strapped Sean Patrick Flanagan, 28, to a gurney in the death chamber at the Nevada State Prison, the condemned man smiled and told prosecutor Dan Seaton, ″I love you.″

″He has said it before,″ Seaton said. ″He means it in terms of Christian love and forgiveness.″

″I think he believes he is a Christian, but from God’s perception, no,″ the deputy Clark County district attorney added. ″I’m sure he’d kill again.″

Flanagan, who spent his last hours reading the Bible, was declared dead eight minutes after the lethal injection began at 2:01 a.m.

It was the second execution in five days in Nevada, and the state’s fourth and the nation’s 114th since the 1976 U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing states to resume use of the death penalty.

Flanagan was executed for two 1987 killings in Las Vegas after Gov. Bob Miller rejected a last-minute petition for a stay from the American Civil Liberties Union.

Miller said he wouldn’t intervene and that Flanagan had appeals available if he wanted to stop the execution.

Flanagan told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday that he would not pursue appeals because he had to pay his debt to society. But he maintained, ″After giving my life to Jesus, I couldn’t hurt anybody again.″

Flanagan apologized to the families of his victims and said, ″I hope they’ll understand my execution is proper and just.″

In a seven-page statement, he revealed that he hated his homosexuality. He said it was difficult for him to determine what made him kill men he thought were homosexual, but ″the thought that I would be doing some good for our society crossed my mind.″

Flanagan confessed to two murders after he was arrested in Orange, Calif., for jaywalking. He said he strangled and dismembered 45-year-old chef James Lewandowski, who had befriended him after he lost all his money drinking and gambling. Four days later, he said, he strangled pianist Albert Duggins, 59, after Duggins offered him a ride.

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