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Oklahoma executes Wackerly

MCALESTER, Okla., Oct. 15 (UPI) -- Oklahoma executed Donald Ray Wackerly II after a federal judge dismissed a request to allow his Buddhist spiritual adviser into the death chamber.

Wackerly, 41, was executed by lethal injection and pronounced dead at 6:12 p.m. CDT Thursday, KTUL-TV, Tulsa, reported. He had been sentenced to die in the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester for the 1996 shooting death of Laotian fisherman Pan Sayakhoummane during a robbery.

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Attorneys reached an agreement Wednesday that cleared the way for the execution of Wackerly, who had wanted his Buddhist spiritual adviser present during the lethal injection.

Wackerly's attorney, Micheal Salem, said under the agreement Wackerly would be permitted to recite a mantra of ultimate compassion until he died, and his Buddhist spiritual adviser and others in an observation room also would be allowed to chant, The (Oklahoma City) Oklahoman reported.

Wackerly said he was innocent and accused his wife, who was granted immunity from prosecution and testified against him, of setting him up.

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