Executed May 25, 2001 by Lethal Injection in Delaware
B / M / 27 - 37 B / M / 22
32nd murderer executed in U.S. in 2001
715th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
2nd murderer executed in Delaware in 2001
13th murderer executed in Delaware since 1976
(Race/Sex/Age at Murder-Execution)
(Race/Sex/Age at Murder)
Abdullah Tanzil Hameen
a/k/a Cornelius Ferguson
Drug deal in mall parking lot. Hodges in front passenger seat of car driven by accomplice Tyrone Hyland. Hameen in back seat. When argument erupted about deal, Hameen shot Hodges at close range as he attempted to exit car. Hameen admitted shooting, but claimed that the beeper Hodges was reaching for was a gun, and he shot in self-defense. Hameen was on parole for a murder committed in 1980. Accomplice Hyland pled guilty to Murder 2d Degree and was sentenced to 15 years.
B / M / 27 - 37
B / M / 22
Ferguson v. State, 642 A2d 772 (Del. 1994).
Ferguson v. State, 1996 WL 1056727 (D. Del. 1996).
Hameen v. Delaware, 212 F3d 226 (3d Cir. 2000).
Final / Special Meal:
Lobster, crab legs, baked potato with sour cream, a mango and ice water.
"Tara, I hope this brings you comfort and eases your pain some. Mom and Shakeerah, I love you. I'll see you on the other side. That's all."
Delaware Department of Correction
Hameen was convicted in November 1992 of shooting college student/drug dealer Troy Hodges, 22. Hodges was shot in the parking lot of the TriState Mall near Claymont the night of August 5, 1991.
The Lamp of Hope (Associated Press)
May 25 - DELAWARE: Abdullah T. Hameen, a career criminal who killed 2 men before embracing Islam and preaching nonviolence while on death row, was executed early today. Hameen, born Cornelius Ferguson, received a lethal injection at Delaware Correctional Center just after 12 a.m. as punishment for the 1991 murder of Troy Hodges during a drug deal at a Claymont mall. Hameen, 37, was pronounced dead at 12:07 a.m. He was the 13th inmate executed by Delaware since the state resumed executions in 1992.
Hameen's execution came after several appeals were filed Thursday by his attorneys and supporters seeking to have his death sentence commuted to life in prison. Those appeals were rejected by the state superior and supreme courts. Hameen and his supporters argued that society would have been better served by letting him spend the rest of his life in prison. They claimed Hameen had become a model inmate and mentor to other prisoners and at-risk youths. But prosecutors and some members of the state Board of Pardons were troubled by his long and violent criminal career, during which he killed 2 men and shot and seriously wounded 2 others. Some also doubted that his conversion from hardened criminal to peace-loving activist was genuine, noting prison writings in which he blasted the criminal justice system as racist and oppressive.
After 2 hearings and hours of deliberations over 4 days, the pardons board on Wednesday decided not to recommend that Gov. Ruth Ann Minner commute Hameen's sentence to life in prison without parole. Board members concluded that Hameen had expressed true remorse for his crimes and had made genuine attempts at rehabilitating himself and others. But they did not find sufficient justification to overturn a jury's unanimous recommendation that he be put to death. Late Thursday morning, Superior Court Judge Richard Gebelein, who followed the jury's recommendation and sentenced Hameen to death in 1992, denied a defense motion asking him to reconsider. Also Thursday, Judge Gebelein and the state Supreme Court denied requests for a stay of execution filed by Hameen's spiritual adviser, who claimed that Hameen's religious rights were being violated. The Board of Pardons has never recommended clemency for a death row inmate but said Hameen's argument could not be easily dismissed and there may come a day when a death penalty case merits a commutation.
Thursday afternoon, a handful of Hameen's supporters held a protest rally outside Legislative Hall, vowing to hold the state responsible for his death. Also Thursday, Judge Gebelein denied a motion filed by the Wilmington- based North American Islamic Foundation to halt the execution. Ismaa'eel Hackett, director of the foundation and a spiritual adviser to Hameen, said Hameen's religious rights were being violated. God states that a Muslim cannot be put to death for killing a disbeliever, Mr. Hackett said. Based on those premises, we have to say that Abdullah Hameen should not be put to death. Judge Gebelein ruled that the foundation had no standing to seek a stay of execution. Mr. Hackett filed a similar motion with the state Supreme Court, which affirmed Judge Gebelein's denial.
Hameen becomes the 32nd condemned individual to be put to death this year in the USA, and the 715th overall since America resumed executions on January 17, 1977.
Abdullah T. Hameen, born Cornelius Ferguson, was sentenced to death in 1992 for the murder of Troy Hodges during a drug deal outside a Claymont mall on August 5, 1991. Troy suffered a contact gunshot to the back. At the time of Troy's murder, Hameen was on parole for a murder committed in 1980, when he was 17 and killed a patron of a bar. He also had a 1985 conviction and a 1991 conviction for aggravated assault in which two people were seriously injured.
Hodges, who was apparently a drug dealer living in Wilmington, had negotiated to purchase a half-kilogram of cocaine for $10,000 either directly from Hyland or from a third party, with Hyland acting as middleman. Hodges arranged to meet Hyland at the Mall. Hodges had a friend, Alvin Wiggins, accompany him to the Mall. Wiggins was seventeen years old at the time of these events. Wiggins was also apparently a drug dealer. Wiggins testified at Ferguson's trial. According to Wiggins, before they drove to the Mall, Hodges gave Wiggins a plastic bag holding two smaller packages, each of which contained $5,000 in cash. They then drove to the Mall and parked in the lower lot. Wiggins testified that after they arrived at the Mall, Hodges took one of the two packages of money and instructed him to stay in his car until he received a sign from Hodges or until he returned. Hodges then left and entered a passageway leading to the upper parking lot of the Mall. Hodges was no longer visible to Wiggins. Wiggins waited for Hodges for approximately ninety minutes. During that time, he unsuccessfully attempted to contact Hodges via his `beeper.' When Wiggins learned that someone had been shot at the Mall, he drove away.
Ferguson gave a tape recorded statement to the Delaware State Police on September 26, 1991. In his statement, Ferguson admitted that he was a passenger in a car driven by Hyland to the Mall on the night of August 5, 1991. Ferguson stated that he was sitting in the back seat of the car. According to Ferguson, when they arrived at the Mall, Hyland parked the car. Hodges got into the front passenger seat of the car. Hyland and Hodges then argued about money and drugs. According to Ferguson, Hyland then clandestinely gave him a gun. Ferguson stated that the gun was already cocked when he received it. Ferguson pointed the gun at Hodges. Hyland and Hodges continued to argue. Ferguson stated that although the car was moving slowly towards the Mall, Hodges opened the car door and tried to leave the car. According to Ferguson, Hodges then slapped at the gun, causing it to `accidentally' fire a single shot. Ferguson claimed that he did not know Hodges had been wounded and died, until days later. Stewart Cohen testified that on the night of August 5, 1991, he was in the parking lot of the K-Mart at the Tri-State Mall. Cohen stated that he heard a `popping sound.' Cohen turned and saw a blue Chevrolet Cavalier moving slowly in the parking lot. Cohen stated that he saw a person shoved or jumping out of the car. Cohen testified that this person then ran towards him and collapsed on the sidewalk. An autopsy revealed that Hodges died of massive hemorrhaging due to a single gunshot wound. The record reflects that the bullet, which was fired from behind, entered his left side and traveled through his body in an upward trajectory. The hole in Hodges' shirt and the wound in his torso indicated that the muzzle of the gun had been pressed against Hodges' body when the shot was fired. The Supreme Court of Delaware also noted that the gun used in the shooting belonged to Ferguson.
Hameen's execution came after unsuccessful last-minute appeals by his attorney and spiritual adviser, and unprecedented deliberations by the state Board of Pardons, which was impressed by his apparent conversion but nonetheless denied his request for clemency. Testifying before the Board of Pardons on Wednesday, an angry Tara Hodges blasted Hameen, describing him as "garbage" that should be disposed of. "You're not sorry for killing my brother, you're just sorry that you got caught," she told him. "You are evil. You cannot change and you haven't changed." Ms. Hodges' testimony came after the board's initial hearing and several hours of deliberations. The panel reconvened after being told that Ms. Hodges wasn't notified of the 1st hearing, at which Hameen and several of his supporters testified. The state parole board voted 3-2 last month to recommend that Gov. Ruth Ann Minner commute Hameen's sentence to life in prison without parole. After the second hearing, the Board of Pardons concluded that Hameen had expressed true remorse for his crimes and made genuine attempts at rehabilitating himself and others. But the board said it could not overlook the fact that he killed two men and shot and seriously wounded 2 others, and it did not find sufficient justification to overturn a jury's unanimous recommendation that he be put to death.
A few hours later, bound by leather belts and taped to a gurney, he spoke his last words to Tara Hodges, then to his wife and mother. "Tara, I hope this brings you comfort and eases your pain some," Hameen, 37, said before the lethal drugs began flowing through his veins. "Mom and Shakeerah, I love you. I'll see you on the other side. That's all." Ms. Hodges told a handful of reporters that the execution closed a painful chapter in her family's life. "The nightmare, this chapter, is over," she said. "I wanted to know he was paying the price. This should have happened 10 years ago. I needed to see this happen to make sure he was really dead," Hodges said. "I hope it sends a message to people that you can't kill 1, 2 or 3 times and expect to get away with it," she said, referring to the fact that Hameen killed a man at age 17 before killing Hodges in 1991. Asked whether Hameen's last words brought her any comfort, Hodges replied, "It was meaningless to me. ... I felt comfort, not from what he said, but the act brought me some comfort. I hope this deters anybody who wants to commit a murder," she said. "We don't have to fear him any more."
Canadian Coalition to Abolish Death Penalty (Hameen Homepage)
On that very unfortunate evening of August 5, 1991, I still had a contract, (a murder for hire) out on my life and in that vein I kept a gun with me at all times for self protection. This particular day started out like every other in that I would get in around 6-6:30AM, take a shower and nap, then take my lady friend to work, with us leaving the house, around 7:15. After dropping her off I would stop by a female friends house where I would leave my gun so it would be close by. Upon leaving work I would pick my gun up. While at work I would call my cousin on lunch break to make sure everything and everyone were all right. He asked me to meet him at 9:00PM that evening in a sports club at the Penn Towers Hotel in Philadelphia.
This was a place that we often met, because of its location and pleasant atmosphere, and I knew that being with would keep him off the streets and prevent him from getting into any kind of trouble on the street. I left work at 5:00PM that day and on the way home I made several stops, First to pick up my gun, then to see two female friends before going home. This process usually took place later in the evening, since I was planning on being out of the city, I just got it out the way. Usually I would leave from work to go home and help my two stepdaughters with their homework, and spend tine with my son who would stop by after school. After spending time with the children and my lady friend, I would go and visit family and friends, as well as frequent my favorite night spots. However, I received a phone call from Tyrone (co-defendant) who asked me to go with him to pick up some money from a friend of his around 8:00PM. This was not an unusual request, we often called one another without warning to go places, (concerts, plays, sporting events, and dinner) I didn't ask where or the nature of the meeting, thought I'm not suggesting that I was unaware that Tyrone occasionally sold drugs, but this was not discussed. I agreed to go as I did not want to let my friend down, further, I didn't know if the reason for asking was because he felt threatened. I had an hour before I had to meet my cousin in Philadelphia, so I agreed to go with him. Upon hanging up the phone, as I often did, I called my youngest brother and two friends (one male, one female) and let them know I was taking a ride with Tyrone to pick up some money from a friend, and if they didn't hear from me to contact him and find out why not. This is a practice I adopted after the contract was issued on my life.
Around 7:45PM that evening Tyrone picked me up at my house in Chester, PA, and we proceeded to meet his friend, which winded up being at the Tri-State Mall in New Castle, Delaware, upon pulling in the parking lot Tyrone informed me that he was going to run into the mall to meet his friend and he'd be right back out. I sat in the car and waited, about 10 minutes later they emerged. I didn't go into the mall because I had a gun on my person and I knew that mall security would be less than pleased to make this discovery, neither did I want to get caught in such an open and crowded environment without my gun being on me. So 10 minutes later Tyrone and Troy (victim) emerged from the mall and were walking towards the car, t which time I got out of the car, because he said he was picking up money, not the friend, at which time I saw they were engaged in an extremely heated argument as they came closer, I learned it was drug related. At this point I became nervous and extremely alarmed, because Tyrone had not made me aware of the situation, and I did not know anything about his friend and what his intention were in meeting with Tyrone.
I can only guess that Troy sensed my discomfort and nervousness, so he turned to Tyrone and said "Since you don't have the drugs, I don't have the money" We were inside the car, Tyrone behind the driver's side, Troy the passenger side, and I was in the middle of the backseat. At this moment Tyrone started the car and said to Troy "You're full of shit" as troy climbed out the passenger seat and I was getting in the passenger seat from within the car, Troy uttered something that I did not fully hear or understand, as he reached behind his back and underneath his T-shirt for what I expected to be a gun, given my paranoia about the contract on my life, and that in that brief moment I could see an object that was black, and placed above his right him, on impulse thinking he had a gun, I fired one shot towards the direction of his hand (Which can be confirmed by the autopsy report, on the entry of the bullet". Later, after my trial and I had been sentenced to death (I learned by way of my co-defendants attorney, the object I perceived as a gun was a beeper) at this point my intent was only to prevent him grabbing and firing his gun. After I fired that shot, the victim started running and we drove away before he could return fire. Since he was running and that I purposely fired at his hand and not at any vital organs, I did not have reason to believe that the bullet was fatal.
Thereafter, we returned to Chester, we did not learn of his death until days later and were officially notified on September 10, 1991 when Chester police along with the State Police picked up Tyrone for questioning at the Criminal Investigation Division in Media, PA. It was at this time Tyrone gave a taped statement implicating me in the murder of Troy Hodges. On September 23, 1991, I was informed that the State Police wanted to question me concerning a murder, and on the 26th, I called my parole officer to confirm the information at which time he stated the Chester police wanted to question me concerning a murder. Learning this, I turned myself into my parole officer at 1:30 pm on September 26, 1991, at which time he transported me to Media, PA. where I was interrogated by Detectives until 3:30 pm, at which time they left to search my lady friend's house, where I lived. They returned around 5:00 pm, and resumed the interrogation until 7:45, at which time I was taken to the Media police station to await the arrival of Detective Mark Daniels, of Delaware state police, he arrived around 8:00 pm at which time I was questioned again and given a copy of the affidavit and listened to Tyrone's taped confession against me. Around 10:15 pm I gave a taped statement confessing to the murder of Troy Hodges. Following the confession, I was transported to the Magisterial District of Chester's police station, where I was arraigned and ultimately transported to Delaware county prison.
On September 30, 1991, I was transported to Media courthouse, Court Of Common Pleas, where I waived extradition. On October 1, 1991 I was extradited to the State police station Troop 2 New Castle County, Delaware, where I was fingerprinted, photographed, and transported to the Gonder Hill prison. On October 15, 1991 I was indicted by the Grand Jury in and for New Castle County, Delaware, on the following counts: Murder in the first degree (intentional and felony murder), two counts possession of deadly weapon during commission of felony, two counts conspiracy in the first degree, two counts. On October 23, 1991, I was officially arrested Superior Court of Wilmington, Delaware. On February 2, 1992, a Proof Positive Hearing was conducted by Judge Gebelein found Proof Positive in favor of the state. On November 2-3, 1992, my trial began and ended. At the conclusion of the guilt and innocence phase I was found guilty by a vote of 12-0 of all charges, except Count two, Conspiracy of felony murder, which was nolle pros. On November 16-18, 1992, penalty hearing was conducted which ultimately ended with a jury vote of 12-0 in favor of the death penalty. On December 1, 1992, I was sentenced to two death sentences for each count of murder (I and IV) and two consecutive mandatory terms of incarceration for twenty, for count III and IV and to a consecutive mandatory term of incarceration for five years for count V, to be followed by six months at a halfway house.
Prior to my trial, my co-defendant was allowed to enter a plea bargain and was sentenced to fifteen years for the reduced charge of second degree murder.
Prison Activist Resource Center
MURDER IN DELAWARE - Ruth Ann Minner Joins Ranks of Nationwide Serial Killers Note by Sis. Marpessa - Shortly after midnight last night, a dark-colored car pulled up in front of approximately 100 protesters, a white, dark-suited man stepped out and matter-of-factly announced that AbdullahTanzel Hameen was dead. Many people screamed, "murderers!" and that the overtime pay the cops were getting to supervise us was "dripping with the blood of Hameen." Hameen's sons clung to each other and sobbed,as they had since we arrived at a little past 11:00. The Delaware Coalition Opposed to the Death Penalty rang a huge bell. There were screams, sobs, one "hallelujah", another "they killed my nephew," another still "you filthy bastards!" many Islamic and Christian prayers andmuch anger, grief and disbelief. On the other side,the "for the death penalty" cowpen held one young white male with a sign that no one could read. Areporter complained that he couldn't get a soundbitefrom him. Oh yea, there's two cowpens for protestors,one "For" the other "Against". There's cops all over theplace. Cop cars are facing us with their parking lightson. We're constantly being directed as to where we can and can't walk, stand or exist. We chanted them down fiercely and they did not even turn their guilty faces around to acknowledge our existence. Earlier that day a Wilmington Imam was forced togo to court several times to challenge the prison for not letting him meet with Hameen as his spiritual advisor. The prison had told him to not return there. When he appeared and approached the "Against" cowpen, he was immediately told to get off the grounds or face immediate arrest. As he told them of Hameen's wish to have him present, the stonefaced cops could only repeat their threat. The Imam left. Hameen ended up with the openly racist prison chaplain. We saw the "witness" bus leave the area but did not see any of the witnesses. Some of us met Sis. Shakeerah at another location after she had packed all of Bro. Hameen's possessions (which she was directed to do immediately after his murder). She told us Hameen had made peace with his murder and had spiritually prepared himself for the journey he would make that evening. We were told that Bro. Hameen had been strapped to the gurney since 11:00. He was not put to sleep, as expected by many. Bro. Hameen was *very* evidently in pain from one of the three chemicals in the lethal cocktail, gasping and thrusting his upper body off the gurney as far as the straps would allow, strapped in the shape of a cross. As we talk, someone noticesthat Sis. Shakeerah is smelling Bro. Hameen'sbelongings and holding them close to her face. She told me to please let everyone on the internet know that she and Hameen were both extremely gratefulfor all of the national and worldwide support hereceived and thanked each individual who took the time to do anything at all to help prevent this murder. I personally would like to encourage anti-DP activists or those fence-sitters to go to the prisoneach time they murder someone. It does a lot forthe family of the soon to be murder victim, lets the state know that there are *growing* numbersof people in opposition to the death penalty, andperhaps most importantly, exposes all inmateswithin hearing range (as most are) to some politicalactivism, to which they cheered inside the prison walls. PARDONS BOARD IS A FARCE - RESIGN! At the second so-called pardon board "hearing"those officials had clearly already made up theirmind as they had a pre-prepared press releasein-hand before it even got started. Ron Holsterman,the head of the counseling department, with 30years in the business of imprisonation, blatantlylied when he said that he has never knownANYONE who has been rehabilitated. He needsto be fired for incompetence if after 30 years hecan say that!Victim's advocates guided the victim's sister, Tara,although she had a note passed to her to stop staring at Bro. Hameen while making her comments (suchas his being "garbage" and needing to be disposedof just like the "garbage" he is). She stated that Hameen had not been rehabilitated, had not changed at all, had no remorse, and his conversion to Islamwhile incarcerated was a ploy, although that daywas the first day she had ever set eyes upon him orheard him speak. The victim's mother was calmerbut advocated for the murder just as strongly as herdaughter, stating that "the word 'happiness' is nolonger in my vocabulary." Two hours later, the PardonsBoard came back with their decision that Hameen mustdie and the victim's sister told reporters that shewanted to "jump for joy." The awful truth is that this exercise has taught us, andhopefully will teach those more naieve, that DE has**no standard to measure clemency**. If Hameen's incredible turnaround (so remarkable, in fact, that several ex-inmates returned to the prison to tell the Board how Hameen had forever changed their lives),could not qualify as extraordinary enough to merit the reduced sentenced of LWOP, then no one stands achance! They have given no death row inmateclemency. The Board gave 4 reasons for their denial:1. Victims' family testimony; 2.) His turnaround wasthe "norm" and did not meet their criteria of "extraordinary*;3.) he was given the death penalty by a "jury of his peers",4.) his crimes themselves, his "rap sheet." If this Boardwere truly about granting clemency to deserving individualsand not about playing politics, Hameen would and shouldhave been shown as a shining example of what SELF- rehabilitation can do. Although they did not list his condemnations of the criminal justice system in his articles, essays and newsletters as a reason for the denial, they were a big part of this whole process and were a big part of their decision to murder him. DEMAND THE TRUTH!! These people played with this family for weeks before they did what they planned to do all along, murder Hameen because he was too political, too active, too loved by too many people that he could influence with his TRUTH, WISDOM and KNOWLEDGE. And that is why they continually wanted to read his writings. And that is why they continually denied him every time he went to court. And that is why they finally brought in the victim's relatives to seal Hameen's fate because they had so much proof staring them in the face that this man was NO LONGER Cornelius Ferguson but had COMPLETELY changed his life that they needed an ace in the hole. They exploited the victim's family'sdesire for revenge to stifle Bro. Hameen's dissent (alongw/his life, of course, but it's clearly his dissent they careabout, not his life!). The death penalty ain't SUPPOSEDto be about revenge- OR about stifling dissent, and has certainly been disproven millions of times as being a "deterrent to violent crime." Victim's families' testimonyshould NOT be considered when asking for clemencybased on rehabiliation (and remember, we wereasking for LWOP, not a new trial!). The victim's familydoes not know what Hameen has done and can dofor black young people in that prison, they do not knowwhy clemency should be extended to him because ofhis self-rehabilitation, they don't know the manHameen has become, they had not met him. All theycan bring is their horrific memories of grief and theirtremendous loss. Memories are not the same as theHERE and NOW. Victim testimony has no bearingon an OBJECTIVE review of an inmate's accomplishmentswhile incarcerated.The DE Board of Pardons should *never* have the fate of anyone's life in their hands *ever* again. WE DEMAND THEIR IMMEDIATE RESIGNATIONS based on their well-documented incompetence and mishandling of this plea for mercy. FUNERAL/BURIAL/EXPENSES Bro. Abdullah Hameen was funeralized and buried in New Jersey somewhere today. Only a very few people knew the details of where it was to be held and are saddened at having been unable to show their respects for a drug dealer whobecame a man of God and worked daily to atone for his previous, grievous, misdeeds. Killing Abdullah Hameen has not made the streets any safer for anyone. Inmates in the Delaware Correctional Center have lost a brother, friend and mentor who worked tirelessly on their cases and raised their consciousness politically and spiritually. Sis. Shakeerah Hameen, who did not make the trip to New Jersey, is going to be incommunicado for a few weeks and concentrate on herself and her sons. She is not aware that we are going to try and raise money to help her and her sons (one who was previously suicidal) through this traumatic event. If you are moved to help ease the financial burdens of this family as a result of this system's practice of legal murder, please donate assmall or large as you can to: Delaware Citizens Opposed To the Death Penalty. 1304 N. Rodney Street Wilmington DE 19806-4227 In the memo it would be important to put "BLAC-H" DCODP has a Tax Deductible Status, and at the momentlooks after any money BLAC (Because Love Allows Compassion) has. Thanks again to all those who wrote, faxed, called and otherwise worked to save the life of a truly good brother who had atoned for his prior life of crime by using each day of the remainder of his life to help and support others. We need to do amassive education/economic sanctions campaign to teach the reality of the death penalty. Please trust that this murder was not about the killing of Troy Hodges in 1991, they could care less about Troy or his family (had his sister not expressed her full support for the execution, do you think the Pardon Board would have reconvened to hear her testify had she called them and instead stated that she believe that the execution shouldnot take place? NOT LIKELY!) These are two black men, both who this system viewed as potential 21'st Centural Slaves within their growingprison industry. They need to somehow prove that they are "tough on crime" and try to soothe the public worries about crime by killing people, whether they have rehabilitated, whether they are retarded, and now, whether they are children.
A localpaper write-up on the murders follows. From: Wilmington News Journal 5/25/01 Man executed for drug slaying By J.L. MILLER and PATRICK JACKSON Dover Bureau reporters 05/25/2001 SMYRNA
Abdullah T. Hameen was executed by injection today for killing Troy Hodges in 1991 during an aborted drug deal. "Mr. Hameen was pronounced dead at 12:07 a.m.," James Hutchins, Delaware Correctional Center deputy warden, announced to a group of death penalty protesters gathered in front of the center. Hameen, 37, was the 13th person executed in Delaware since the state resumed executions in 1992, and the second person executed in 2001. Fourteen men are condemned to death in Delaware. Hameen's fate was sealed Wednesday when the state Board of Pardons rejected his application for a commutation. Two court filings meant to stop the execution were rejected by Superior Court Judge Richard S. Gebelein on Thursday. The first, filed by the North American Islamic Foundation, asked the judge to reconsider the execution order. It also was rejected on appeal to the state Supreme Court. The second, filed by Hameen's lawyer John S. Malik, asked the judge to change Hameen's sentence to life in prison. As the execution time neared late Thursday, the sky was overcast and it was windy outside the Delaware Correctional Center as a group of about 75 death-penalty opponents gathered inside a snow-fenced pen with yellow police tape wrapped around the top. Protesters sang and held signs, including one that read "Ruth Ann Minner - Serial Killer."Phyllis Pautrat, a youth counselor from Philadelphia, said, "We should be outraged. There's a murder going on here tonight." She looked at the guards outside of the pen and asked, "What are you going to tell your kids when you go home tomorrow? Last night I killed a man?" Protests also were held in Rodney Square in Wilmington. Warden Robert Snyder said he asked Hameen if he had any last words. Snyder said Hameen replied, "Tara, I hope this brings you comfort and eases your pain some. Mom and Shakeera, I love you. I'll see you on the other side. That's all." Hameen's mother and his wife, Shakeera Hameen, appeared to be praying silently as the lethal chemicals began to flow into Hameen. He exhaled loudly three times and then was quiet. Tara Hodges, the sister of Hameen's victim, spoke at the Board of Pardons in favor of putting Hameen to death. In a post-execution news conference, she said she hoped the execution would deter others from committing murders. "The nightmare, this chapter is over." Minner said in a prepared statement that she prayed that carrying out of the death sentence "will bring some amount of closure to Mr. Hodges' family." Shakeera Hameen apologized to the victim's family. But she said the execution has created another group of victims. Corrections Department spokeswoman Beth Welch said Hameen spent his last 24 hours sleeping, eating, reading, writing letters, watching television and talking to prison staff, family members and his attorney. He also visited with family members and his spiritual adviser. For his last meal, Hameen selected lobster, crab legs, baked potato with sour cream, a mango and ice water, Welch said. Hameen, born Cornelius Ferguson, was sentenced to die for killing Hodges during a drug deal at the Tri-State Mall, Claymont. Hameen testified he shot Hodges because he thought Hodges was reaching for a gun. Hodges, a student at Delaware State University, apparently had been reaching for his pager and had no gun. Reach J.L. Miller at 678-4271 or send an e-mail.