Cal Coburn Brown, 52, was executed today by lethal injection for the rape, torture and murder of a Seattle-area woman, the Associated Press reports. It was Washington state’s first use of capital punishment in nine years. The father, brother and two sisters of his victim, Holly Washa, 21, witnessed the execution, as did King County prosecutor Dan Satterberg. The U.S. and state supreme courts rejected efforts to stay the execution, and Gov. Chris Gregoire turned down a plea for clemency.
Brown had argued that his mental illness was not adequately considered during his sentencing and that it should bar his execution. He suffered from bipolar disorder. Brown confessed to killing the 21-year-old Washa, whom he had met near the Sea-Tac airport. “His demeanor – that's what struck us. And his lack of remorse,” said Lt. Al Franz of the Palm Springs, Ca., police department, who interviewed Brown. “This is a violent individual, and he was just very, very calm while he was telling his story.”