Inmate seeks execution for 1973 killing

June 27, 2009 at 7:25 PM

OMAHA, June 27 (UPI) -- An inmate in a Nebraska prison, convicted as a teenager of strangling an 8-year-old boy in 1973, has asked for execution.

Patrick Ronald Russell, 52, made the request in a motion filed with the Douglas County Superior Court, the Omaha World-Herald reported Saturday.

"Defendant would rather be executed than to live the remainder of his life in protective custody and denied visits, medical care, religious services and exercise," Russell, acting as his own lawyer, said in his filing.

Russell was 17 when he strangled Joseph Edmonds, a neighbor in Omaha, with a telephone cord in November 1973 and dumped the body in a vacant apartment. He later told police the boy had said something mean about his grandmother.

Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty in the case. Russell was sentenced to life imprisonment by a judge who called the crime "cold, ruthless, brutal and senseless."

In his court filing, Russell complains about the conditions of his confinement at Tecumseh State Prison, which he says is run like "the old Nazi death camp."

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