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Serial killer’s challenge of death penalty angers victim’s family

Bobby Joe Long's lawyers are questioning whether lethal injection would be too painful to be constitutional.

TAMPA, Fla. — As attorneys for Bobby Joe Long questioned anesthesiologists and clinical pharmacists about the drugs used in lethal injection, and whether the dosage would be painful enough to be unconstitutional, the family of Chanel Williams sat in dismay.

“To have this person find excuse after excuse not to face his judgment. It's time. He did that wrong, pay for it. You got to pay for your sins,” said Lula Williams, Chanel’s mother.

Long murdered 10 women in the Tampa Bay area back in 1984. Nearly 35 years later, his date with death is set for May 23. However, Long's attorneys are hoping to postpone his execution by challenging the constitutionality of the death penalty.

They argued that because Long suffers from seizures and a traumatic brain injury, the drugs used in lethal injection would cause too much pain, and would be "cruel and unusual punishment."

However, Lula Williams said it’s time for Long to face his fate.

“He's worried about that. Naw, you go on and take that. You won't know nothing. It's over,” she said. “The time has come. It's time to end this. He shouldn't be going on like this."

Long was not in the courtroom although he was scheduled to be. At the last minute, he decided against making an appearance. He instead decided to listen in by phone, and would from time to time laugh and make comments.

“It seems like he's enjoying what's going on. like wants to continue to inflict pain on the family,” said Williams.

The judge did not issue a ruling in the hearing, but said she would do so by 3 p.m. Monday.

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