Inmate apologizes to victim's family before execution


Mark Wiles apologized to the family of the Rootstown teen he knifed to death more than 25 years ago and spoke out against the death penalty in his final moments before succumbing to a lethal injection.

“The state of Ohio should not be in the business of killing its citizens,” he said Wednesday, reading from statement while strapped to a table in the death house of the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility. “May God bless us all that fall short.”

But a cousin of the murder victim later countered Wiles’ words.

“With no disrespect to the Wiles family, it is my opinion that Mark Wiles gave up his citizenship of Ohio when he murdered my cousin,” said John Craig, who watched the execution as the lone representative of Mark Klima’s family. “He became an inmate, more or less a condemned man.”

Wiles arrived at the Death House at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville on Tuesday morning.

Wednesday morning, he showered and visited with his sisters and attorneys at his cell front, and he said the rosary and took communion with his spiritual adviser, the Rev. Lawrence Hummer.

He arrived at the death chamber wearing a white shirt and blue pants with a stripe down the side, wearing glasses and with his head and facial hair closely trimmed. He lay motionless on the table as he was strapped down and as staff inserted shunts into veins in his arms that would deliver the lethal-injection drug.

He asked for his glasses to be removed before he read his final statement, in which he thanked his family for their support and voiced remorse for his actions.

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