Condemned murderer Buddy Earl Justus yesterday invited Vrginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder to witness his execution tonight for the 1978 rape and slaying of a Montgomery County nurse, but Wilder rejected the invitation.
The request came in a last-minute appeal for clemency sent to the governor's office.
"In every death penalty case, the final decision on the administration of that punishment ultimately rests with you," said the letter from Justus's attorney, John M. Copacino.
"Therefore, Mr. Justus believes that the firsthand experience of an electrocution is essential if your decisions are to be fair," the letter said.
Wilder's reply came from his press secretary, Laura Dillard, who said, "The answer is no and the governor will follow the usual procedures."
Justus, 38, is sentenced to die in the electric chair for raping and shooting Ida Mae Moses, 21, on Oct. 3, 1978. She was nearly nine months pregnant when he broke into her trailer and attacked her.
He also received the death sentence for killing two women in Georgia and Florida that same month.
Wilder already has indicated that he will not grant Justus clemency unless he receives new information about the case.
The request for clemency said Justus should be spared because he suffers from organic brain damage, discovered during an examination this week.
Wilder has refused to intervene in two other executions since he took office in January.