Manny Babbitt

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Manuel Pina Babbitt
Manuel Pina Babbitt.png
Babbit's 1999 Inmate Photo
Born(1949-05-03)May 3, 1949
DiedMay 4, 1999(1999-05-04) (aged 50)
Criminal statusExecuted
Conviction(s)First degree murder with special circumstances
Criminal penaltyDeath by lethal injection

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 Quảng Trị Province, South Vietnam. As part of his defense, he claimed he suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which he claimed caused him to commit his crimes and to later lose all memories of the crimes.[2]

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.[3]

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 his native Wareham, Massachusetts, on May 10, 1999, with full military honors.[4]

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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Manuel Babbitt Archived 2008-02-08 at the Wayback Machine. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Retrieved on November 16, 2007.
  2. ^ Doyle, Jim (29 March 1999). "Dramatic Plea to Save Killer / Ex-cop says death row inmate rescued him in '68". SFGate. Hearst Communications Inc. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  3. ^ White, Jerry. California executes mentally ill Vietnam veteran, World Socialist Web Site (May 5, 1999); retrieved November 11, 2007.
  4. ^ Da Costa-Fernandes, Manuela. Manny Babbitt laid to rest. The Standard-Times (May 11, 1999); retrieved November 16, 2007.

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