LITTLE ROCK — Susan Khani drove across the state of Arkansas Monday to watch her mother’s killer be executed — but she left disappointed.
The U.S. Supreme Court decided not to overturn the stay on the death sentence of Don Davis, the man who shot her mother in the back of the head after burglarizing her home in 1990.
"It was the third time that I’ve been through this, so I expected it,” Khani told NBC News Tuesday. "It was a 50/50 for me, so I was prepared. I wasn’t at all surprised."
She drove down to Varner, Arkansas, where the prison and death chamber is located about 75 miles from the capital, with a friend on Monday afternoon. There she spent more than five hours in a room without access to a television or the internet to gain any insights on how the case was proceeding. Prison officials would periodically provide updates.
"The state has done a really good job," she said. "I'm frustrated with the people who are against the death penalty and that they’re not taking each case individually and looking at each person and what happened. They're lumping it all together."
The decision to schedule eight lethal injections at the end of April didn’t help, she added. She believes the pace only brought greater attention — and opposition — to the executions.
She left the prison with her friend shortly after midnight Tuesday and returned to her hotel in Little Rock.
Now she will wait until Davis is scheduled again, with every telephone ring with a state of Arkansas Caller ID a painful reminder of the mother she lost.
"I go on with my life until I get the phone call that the execution date is set again," she said. "I forget about it and I move on with my life, but I’m reminded again when this comes up."
"I have to go through all the feelings again each time and all the emotions and the stress," she added.
Davis is reportedly tortured by the murder and is repentant. Nevertheless, he maintained a calm demeanor while he waited to learn his fate Monday night, his lawyer Scott Braden said.
But Khani finds Davis' apologies to be too little, too late.
"[Davis] knew he did something wrong," she said, adding that the death row inmate put her mother through hell during the burglary. “He admitted he was guilty, so he’s not some innocent man sitting in prison right now. He got the death penalty. Let’s end this. Let’s get this over with."