Daryl Linnie Mack
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Daryl Linnie Mack, a 47-year-old black male, was voluntarily executed by lethal injection at the Nevada State Prison in Carson City, Nevada on April 26, 2006. Mack was found guilty of the 1988 murder of Betty Jane May, a 55-year-old white female. He was already in prison at the time for first-degree murder for the strangling death Kim Parks on April 1994 and had been sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole for that crime. Mack, who was 30 years old when he committed the capital crime, was sentenced to death on May 15, 2002. He was the 1019th execution carried out in US since 1976.
Betty May lived in a basement room at a boarding house in Reno, Nevada. Steven Floyd lived in the house next door with the managers of the boarding house, Jim and Kelly Bassett. On the night of October 28, 1988, Floyd, who had been drinking at a nearby bar that night, was returning home to try to borrow some money. He knew May and saw that her light was on, so he went to her room to ask for money. Floyd knocked on her door, which was slightly open, but there was no response. He opened the door and saw May kneeling by her bed with her upper body facedown on the bed. He then turned her over and realized that she was dead. Floyd immediately went home and told the Bassetts, and police were called.
An autopsy was performed the next morning. Fingernail scrapings and evidentiary swabs from May's vagina and left foot were collected. The swabs tested positive for semen. There were abrasions on May's neck, bruises on her inner thighs, lacerations of her fingertips, lips, and nose, blood in her vagina, and a hemorrhage within her cervix. May was wearing a blue blouse that was bloodstained. The medical experts at trial all agreed that she had been manually strangled to death. An expert for the State testified that May had suffered forceful traumatic sexual penetration not long before her death.
Conviction and Execution
In April 1994 Mack strangled a woman, Kim Parks, to death for which he was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole. At that time of his arrest police had taken a blood sample from Mack. Some 12 years later, with DNA forensic testing more fully established, Detective David Jenkins took over the May investigation and requested DNA testing of the samples taken from May in 1988. Jenkins also obtained a saliva sample from Mack pursuant to a seizure order.
A criminalist for the Washoe County Sheriff testified that semen taken from May's body and that blood stains on May’s blouse matched Mack's DNA profile. Blood and tissue found under May's fingertips were also consistent with Mack's DNA.
The State charged Mack with the first-degree murder with deliberation and premeditation and/or during the perpetration or attempted perpetration of a sexual assault. The State sought the death penalty, alleging two aggravating circumstances: the six foot three inch tall Mack committed the murder while under sentence of imprisonment, and he committed the murder while committing or fleeing after committing a sexual assault. Mack denied any involvement in killing May.
Before trial Mack personally informed the Second Judicial District Court of Washoe County that he would "like to waive the jury trial and have a judge trial alone." After carefully reviewing the matter, the court granted Mack's request after which one judge, James W. Hardesty, found him guilty.
During the penalty phase the State argued for the death penalty showing that Mack was under sentence of imprisonment for a burglary conviction in California in June 1988. Mack offered condolences, spoke to May's family, and apologized to his own family. He said that he could not find words to express his shame and he asked the panel for the opportunity to continue his rehabilitation in prison. The three-judge panel sentenced him to death. Mack did not pursue any federal appeals. Before his execution Mack had a fish fillet sandwich, French fries and a soft drink as his last meal. His last words were, "Allah is great, Allah is great".
- Michelangelo Delfino and Mary E. Day, Death Penalty USA 2005 -2006, (2008), 249-251.
- Mack v. State (2003) 75 P.3d 803.