WALLA WALLA, Wash.- Cal Coburn Brown was declared dead by prison officials at 12:56 a.m. Friday morning. He was put to death by lethal injection for the 1991 murder of 24-year-old Holly Washa. It was Washington state's first execution since 2001 and the 78th in the state's history.
Prison officials say Brown, 52, died at 12:56 a.m., after a four-member team injected a lethal one-drug cocktail in the execution chamber of the Washington State Penitentiary. The father, brother and two sisters of his victim, Holly Washa, 21, witnessed the execution, as did King County prosecutor Dan Satterberg.
KHQ Local News Reporter Tom Durian was in the execution chamber when Cal Coburn Brown was executed. He filed this report after Coburn Brown was put to death:
"When we entered the execution chamber the family was already seated. The door was closed and we were sitting facing a window that had a closed curtain.
The curtain was opened from the inside and Brown was strapped to a table lying down wearing the orange prison jumpsuit covered by what I can only describe as a green blanket. He was staring right at the media witnesses and then he looked around the room and said:
‘First to the family of Holly Washa [his victim], I understand the hatred you have for me and my actions against Holly. I hope the actions tonight bring you closure, I forgive you for your feelings of hatred toward me." He never said sorry.
Then he said goodbye to the staff of the penitentiary and commented that the actions over the past 17 years have been most professional and he had no complaints.
For the state of WA and King County he said he had an official protest: a complete and total disparity for the sentence. He remarked about other killers, namely Gary Ridgeway [the Green River Kille], and said Ridgeway killed raped and tortured several people while he [Coburn Brown] only killed one person. Ridgeway received life in prison, while Coburn Brown got the death penalty: ‘I cannot really see that there is true justice. Hopefully sometime in the future that gets straightened out.'
Then he said, ‘God bless you and God bless my family.'
It was then that the drug was given and Cal Brown died 1-2mins later. 12:56 a.m."