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Maryland executes man who killed police officer

July 2, 1997

BALTIMORE (AP) _ A man who killed a police officer was executed by injection early today, a choice he initially rejected over the gas chamber to prove his point about the brutality of the death penalty.

Flint Gregory Hunt, 38, was given the lethal dose of drugs for the November 1985 murder of Officer Vincent Adolfo, who had stopped him for driving a stolen car.

Maryland last executed a man in the gas chamber in 1961. Since then, it has put only one other person to death, three years ago, by injection.

Hunt refused to switch from the gas chamber when Maryland changed its method of execution, saying he felt the lethal injection made execution appear too peaceful. However, he requested the change last week, saying he was concerned about the effect of tales of a gruesome death on his family.

Lethal injection renders the condemned unconscious before it kills.

Defense attorneys pleaded with the governor again Tuesday to commute Hunt’s death sentence on the grounds that a juror who decided his sentence in 1988 was mentally incompetent. Various appeals, including ones based on the juror’s service, were denied at the state and federal levels.

Hunt was convicted of first-degree murder for shooting Adolfo as the officer tried to handcuff him. Hunt pulled a .357-caliber Magnum revolver from his jacket and shot Adolfo in the chest, then shot him a second time in the back as the officer reeled backward.

``I don’t live a day without regrets, without despair, without disappointment,″ Hunt said in a telephone interview Friday.