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Arkansas Has 1st Execution in 26 Years

June 19, 1990| United Press International

PINE BLUFF, Ark. — A convicted killer was put to death in the electric chair Monday night in the state's first execution in 26 years.

John Edward Swindler, 46, a husky, red-faced native of Columbia, S.C., was sentenced to die for the 1976 shooting death of Randy Basnett, 30, a police officer in Ft. Smith, Ark.

He was strapped into a wooden chair and subjected to 2,300 volts of electricity at 9:02 p.m. He was declared dead at 9:05 p.m.

Swindler, who had also been convicted of killing two teen-agers in South Carolina and was charged with killing a Pennsylvania student in Florida, was put to death at the state's Cummins Prison Unit about 20 miles southeast of Pine Bluff.

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