A remorseful killer was executed last night for the rape and slaying of a woman in Dallas 17 years ago, the Associated Press reports. He was the first Texas prisoner in nearly nine months put to death in the nation’s most active capital punishment state. Karl Eugene Chamberlain, with a big smile on his face, addressed relatives of his victim, looking through a glass window. “One question I ask myself every day. Why does it take so long for justice to be served?” the victim’s mother said after watching Chamberlain die.
After 26 executions in Texas last year, far more than any other state, Chamberlain’s was the first since September. Executions were on hold after the Supreme Court agreed in September to consider a challenge from two Kentucky prisoners who questioned the constitutionality of lethal injection procedures. When the court upheld the method in April, executions resumed.