Michael Bascum Selsor Executed in Oklahoma For The 1975 Murder Of Clayton Chandler

on May 02 2012 11:23 AM
Oklahoma State Penitentiary
Michael Bascum Selsor was executed by lethal injection on Tuesday in Oklahoma for the murder of a convenience store manager, Clayton Chandler, in Tulsa almost 37 years ago. Creative Commons

Michael Bascum Selsor was executed by lethal injection on Tuesday in Oklahoma for the murder of a convenience store manager, Clayton Chandler, in Tulsa almost 37 years ago.

At 6:06 p.m. Selsor, 57, was pronounced dead at Oklahoma State Penitentiary. His death ends over three decades of legal disputes that included appeals in an effort to spare his life.

In his last words, Selsor addressed his son and sister. He not mention Chandler's relatives.

My son, my sister, I love you till I see you again next time, Selsor said, reported the Associated Press. I'll be waiting at the gates of heaven for you. I hope the rest of you make it there as well.

Selsor was twice convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death for the Sept. 15, 1975 shooting death of convenience store manager Chandler during a robbery gone awry.  The 55-year-old was shot eight times in a heist that only earned Selsor and his accomplice, Richard Dodson, about $500, reported the Daily Mail. Another individual, Ina Morris, was also shot during the incident, but survived.

Selsor and Dodson were arrested a week after Chandler's death in Santa Barbara, Calif., when their car was spotted.

Dodson was acquitted for the murder of Chandler. However, he was convicted for robbery and shooting with the intent to kill Morris. He is currently serving 50 to 199 years in prison, but is up for parole in 2013.  

Selsor said he was prepared for the end as he headed to his execution. As prison officials escorted him out of his cell, the other prisoners began clanging the bars in their cell, as a sign of respect for Selsor, reported the AP.  In the family viewing room, Selsor's son and his sister began to cry.

However, Debbie Huggins, one of Chandler's daughters, said that her family finally received justice for the death of her father.

Today, we got that justice, she said, according to the Associated Press. We're glad that it's finally over. Be at peace. The race is finally over.

As she watched Selsor succumb to the lethal injection, she said she could only think about her father.

This was much kinder what we did to him today than what he did to my dad, Huggins said.

In 1976, Selsor was originally convicted of the crime and sentenced to death. However, the U.S. Supreme Court found Oklahoma's mandatory death penalty statue unconstitutional, reported McAlester News-Capital. Therefore, Selsor's sentence was modified to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

In 1996, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals threw out Selsor's murder conviction and two other charges and was granted a retrial. However, in 1998, Selsor was convicted again of first-degree murder and sentenced to death.

On April 16, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted 4-1 against amending Selsor's sentence to life without parole, reported the Daily Mail. On Friday, The U.S. Supreme Court rejected his request for a stay of execution.

Selsor's defense attorneys argued that executing him after serving almost 30 years in prison lacked any value and would be amount to cruel and unusual punishment, reported the Daily Mail.

Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan was a detective working on the case. He arrived on the scene and found Chandler dead on the floor.

It made quite an imprint on me, what kind of evil really is out there, he told KJRH. It's very vivid to me today. It was a real big deal.  It paralyzed the city.  There was a lot of fear.

However, before the execution protesters arrived at the Oklahoma state capital in order to express their views about the death penalty.

I just don't believe in killing people, said Ellen Watson, a nurse who previously worked with adolescent psychiatric patients, reported the Associated Press.

Another protestor, Vince Kish, 70, hoped that people would take notice of the ant-death penalty protests.

Whether they agree with us or not, at least they can be thinking about it, he said.

Selsor was the third person in Oklahoma to be executed this year Gary Welch was executed in January and Timothy Stemple in March.

However, prison officials have enough pentobarbital, one of the drugs used in lethal injections, for just one more execution. Many drug companies have refused to sell it to states who intend to use it for executions reported newsok.com.

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