When it was discovered that her first victim, Richard Mallory, had served a 10-year prison sentence for sexual violence, there was speculation that Wuornos would be offered a retrial, on the basis that the jury might have viewed her self-defence motive more sympathetically, had this been known at the time, but no new trial was ever forthcoming.
Wuornos was consistently in favour of execution as soon as possible, and was eventually granted permission to fire her appeal lawyers, by the Florida Supreme Court in April 2001, in order that her execution could proceed. In her supporting correspondence to the Supreme Court, she claimed that: “I'm one who seriously hates human life and would kill again”, and psychiatrists who examined her accepted that she was fully aware of the impact of her decision to progress her execution. Given the political pressure against the death penalty, at the time, in the wake of a number of false convictions, she might well have languished in prison indefinitely, had she not ‘volunteered’ for execution in the manner in which she did.
Her final media interview was with British reporter Nick Broomfield, days before her execution. He was convinced that she had lost her mind completely.
Her initial sentence of execution, handed down by Judge Blount, was by electrocution. Despite this, Wuornos was given the choice of method, and she chose death by lethal injection, preferring this to the electric chair.
On 9 October 2002, the date of her execution, she declined her right to a final meal of her choice. Her final words were reported to have been: “I'd just like to say I'm sailing with the Rock and I'll be back like Independence Day with Jesus, June 6, like the movie, big mother-ship and all. I'll be back.”
The sentence was carried out at 9:47 a.m., and she became only the tenth woman in the United States to be executed, since capital punishment had been reinstated in 1976. Her remains were cremated, and her ashes were buried in her hometown of Rochester, Michigan. In 2003 actress Charlize Theron won the Best Actress Academy award for her portrayal of Wuornos in the film ‘Monster’.