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Va. Executes Man Who Killed at 17

January 11, 2000

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Douglas Christopher Thomas was executed by injection Monday night for killing his girlfriend’s parents when he was 17.

Thomas, 26, made no final statement.

Thomas fatally shot James Baxter Wiseman and Kathy Wiseman as they slept in their Middlesex home on Nov. 10, 1990. The Wisemans had been trying to end the relationship between Thomas and their daughter, who was also convicted in the killing.

In a telephone interview last week, Thomas said it was unfair that he faced execution while his girlfriend, convicted as a juvenile for the same crime, was released years ago.

``What I did when I was 17 was wrong, and yes I should be punished. But to pay the ultimate price while my co-defendant, who is just as guilty as I am, has been released to go on with a normal life ... is a little extreme.″

Jessica Wiseman was 14 when she urged Thomas to kill her parents. She was convicted of murder as a juvenile because she was too young to be tried as an adult and was released in 1997.

Thomas’ appeal was based on an international agreement that prohibits executing juveniles. It was signed by the United States, but the Senate has refused to ratify it.

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