Michael Long Executed For 2 Oklahoma Murders

Michael Long was executed by the State of Oklahoma for the murder of a mother and her young son

According to court documents Michael Long would become upset after Sheryl Graber refused his advances. Long would shoot and stab the woman to death before murdering her five year old son Andrew

Michael Long would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death

Michael Long would be executed by lethal injection on February 20 1998

Michael Long Photos

michael long oklahoma

Michael Long Case

Michael Edward Long got his wish early today.

Long was executed by lethal injection for the 1987 slayings of a Muskogee woman and her 5-year-old son.

He was pronounced dead at 12:25 a.m. at Oklahoma State Penitentiary.

Long, 35, became the third Oklahoma inmate in the last three years to be executed after waiving his remaining appeals.

Long was executed for the April 7, 1987, slayings of Sheryl Sandra Graber, 24, and her son, Andrew.

Sheryl Graber was stabbed 31 times and shot twice in her Muskogee home after she rebuffed sexual advances from Long, who worked with her at a Muskogee flower shop. When Andrew Graber tried to intervene, he was stabbed once and shot in the head and chest

Long became the 10th inmate executed by lethal injection since Oklahoma’s current death penalty laws were enacted in 1977. In all, Long was the 93rd inmate put to death in Oklahoma since 1915.

“Tell everybody I just earnestly beg you to repent of your sins,” Long said in his last statement. “Invite Jesus into your heart. Eternity is too long to end up going to the wrong place

He spoke for about two minutes.

As the injection began, Long held up his head, nodding and mouthing words to three people in the front row – his attorney, his spiritual adviser and a woman he called “Sissy.”

“Sissy, I just want to tell you, don’t be sad because the times of sadness are over,” he said as his voice grew slow and sluggish

Long’s final meal, served at noon Thursday, included a Big Mac, a large, thin-crust pizza with all the toppings, two snack pies and two cans of soda. He ate leftover pizza during the evening and spent much of the day visiting with relatives and talking on the phone.

Relatives and friends of the Grabers released a statement saying the execution “closes another chapter of a very painful event in our lives

In a prepared statement released three hours before the execution, Long apologized to the Graber family.

“I am terribly sorry and wholeheartedly regret what I did to Sherry, to Andy, and to your family. … I know that me being sorry won’t make your pain or bad memories go away; only God can and will help you with that, and help your life to not be ruined forever,” Long wrote.

Long also urged the public to get involved with prisoners and with the rehabilitation process.

“Locking away criminals and forgetting about them solves nothing,” he wrote.

Attorney General Drew Edmondson said: “There are some crimes which are so heinous and violent that the death penalty is the only appropriate sentence. The murders of Sherry and Andrew Graber, a mother and her 5-year-old child, were such crimes.”

Edmondson, who prosecuted Long as Muskogee County’s district attorney, said he remembered going to the crime scene and then to the morgue to view the Grabers’ bodies.

“To an extent, obviously less than the family members … I’ll be glad that there’ll be some finality,” he said.

Long said he converted to Christianity after his arrest.

“I’m ready to get out of hell and go to heaven,” Long told The Oklahoman last week. He has spent more than 10 years on death row.

Describing life in the penitentiary as “hell,” Long complained about the lack of natural sunlight, the amount of time prisoners are confined to their cells and the concrete walls, desks and beds.

Long isn’t the only one to complain about the Oklahoma State Penitentiary’s H-Unit, where death-row inmates are housed.

In 1994, Amnesty International condemned the unit as “cruel, inhuman or degrading, in violation of international standards.” It was the first time the organization had issued such a decree for an American prison, said Kevin Acers, president of the group’s Oklahoma City chapter

He said attorneys who have represented death rows nationwide have told him that “Oklahoma’s is as bad as it gets.”

“I know from corresponding with Mike that it has played a factor in his decision to waive his appeals,” Acers said.

Some of the victims’ relatives toured the unit Thursday afternoon and said in their statement that it was “cleaner than some hospitals we have seen.

“He had three meals a day, free medical treatment, free cable TV, mail service, access to educational programs and free legal representation. These are ‘conditions’ many Americans do not have or can afford.”

Edmondson took exception to Acers’ assessment. He described H-Unit as clean and said, “I’ve been in some really rotten jails, and that is not one of them.”

Edmondson thinks inmates are volunteering for execution because it gives them control, a scarce commodity on death row

https://www.oklahoman.com/story/news/1998/02/20/inmate-executed-for-1987-murder-of-pair/62290902007/

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