Manny Babbitt

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Manuel Pina Babbitt
Born (1949-05-03)May 3, 1949
Wareham, Massachusetts
Died May 4, 1999(1999-05-04) (aged 50)
San Quentin, California
Criminal penalty Death by lethal injection
Criminal status Executed
Conviction(s) First degree murder with special circumstances

Manuel Pina "Manny" Babbitt (May 3, 1949 – May 4, 1999) was a U.S. Marine veteran of the Vietnam War who was convicted of the murder of a 78-year-old woman, Leah Schendel, during a burglary in Sacramento, California in 1980.[1] He was executed by the state of California by lethal injection at San Quentin State Prison, one day after his 50th birthday.[1] The murder was committed during a string of robberies and burglaries and the day after the murder Babbitt committed at least one sexual assault.[1]

Babbitt had been wounded at the bloody 1968 Battle of Khe Sanh in Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam. As part of his defense, he claimed that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, which he said caused him to commit his crimes and, later, to lose all memory of it.

One year before his execution, while on death row, Babbitt was awarded a Purple Heart medal for the wounds he had received at the Battle of Khe Sanh.[2]

Babbitt refused his last meal and asked that the $50 allotted be given to homeless Vietnam veterans. His last words were: "I forgive all of you."[1] He was buried in Wareham, Massachusetts, on May 10, 1999, with full military honors.[3]

The movie Last Day of Freedom, nominated for an Oscar in 2016, depicts his brother's narrative of the events that led to Manny's execution.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Manuel Babbitt. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Retrieved on November 16, 2007.
  2. ^ White, Jerry. California executes mentally ill Vietnam veteran. World Socialist Web Site (May 5, 1999). Retrieved on November 11, 2007.
  3. ^ Da Costa-Fernandes, Manuela. Manny Babbitt laid to rest. The Standard-Times (May 11, 1999). Retrieved on November 16, 2007.

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